3 December 1879
|Died||30 April 1959 (aged 79)|
|Occupation||Writer, translator, editor|
|Education||Junior High School|
|Literary movement||Naturalism, Aestheticism|
Kafū Nagai (永井 荷風, Nagai Kafū, 3 December 1879 – 30 April 1959) was a Japanese writer, editor and translator. His works like Geisha in Rivalry and A Strange Tale from East of the River are noted for their depictions of life of the demimonde in early 20th-century Tokyo.
Nagai was born Sōkichi Nagai (永井 壮吉) in
Due to illness, Nagai spent several months in 1895 in a hospital in Odawara. From 1897 on, he started his regular visits to the Yoshiwara red-light district, accompanied by his friend and writer Seiichi Inoue (1878–1923). The same year, he graduated from Junior High School. With his mother and younger brothers, he visited Shanghai, where his father was working for Nippon Yusen. He returned to Japan in Autumn and enrolled in the Tokyo School of Foreign Languages.
In 1898, he published his first short story Sudare no tsuki.
In 1910, Nagai started teaching as a professor of literature at
After a decade-long hiatus, he published the novellas During the Rains (1931), Flowers in the Shade (1934) and A Strange Tale from East of the River (1937), with the latter having repeatedly been cited as his major work. His contempt for the militarist regime, which in turn regarded his work as subversive for the war effort, led to a halt of the publishing of his writings until the end of World War II. The publication of his diaries (1917–1959) ranks as the major literary event of his post-war career.
In 1952, Nagai received the Order of Culture, and in 1954, he was elected a member of the Japan Art Academy. He died on 30 April 1959.
- 1908: American Stories (あめりか物語, Amerika monogatari)
- 1911: The River Sumida (すみだ川, Sumidagawa)
- 1916–1917: Geisha in Rivalry (腕くらべ, Ude kurabe)
- 1917–1959: Danchōtei nichijō (断腸亭日乗)
- 1931: During the Rains (つゆのあとさき, Tsuyu no atosaki)
- 1934: Flowers in the Shade (ひかげの花, Hikage no hana)
- 1937: A Strange Tale from East of the River (濹東綺譚, Bokutō kidan)
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "永井荷風 (Nagai Kafū)". Kotobank (in Japanese). Retrieved 24 September 2022.
- ^ a b c d e f g h Dunlop, Lane (1994). "Translator's Preface"". During the Rains & Flowers in the Shade: Two Novellas by Nagai Kafu. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
- ^ ISBN 9780810878716.
- OCLC 675288661.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j Schulz, Evelyn (1997). Nagai Kafû: "Tagebuch eines Heimgekehrten". Hamburg: LIT.
- ^ a b Seidensticker, Edward (1965). Kafū the Scribbler. The Life and Writings of Nagai Kafū, 1879-1959. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
- ^ "濹東綺譚 (Bokutō kidan)". Kotobank (in Japanese). Retrieved 27 September 2022.
- Works by Kafu Nagai at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Kafū Nagai at Internet Archive
- Works by Kafū Nagai at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- J'Lit | Authors : Kafu Nagai | Books from Japan (in English)
- Kafū Nagai's grave (in English)