Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

(July 24th, 1886 — July 30th, 1965)

Jun’ichirō Tanizaki was a Japanese author, best known for his work searching for cultural identity.

Tanizaki was born in Tokyo to a well-off family that owned a printing press. He considered his childhood to be pampered, but the families finances declined as he reached young adulthood. By 1911, he was forced to drop out of university due to his inability to pay tuition.

He began publishing short stories at twenty-three, and they were well received. For a short time, he also worked as a screen writer for silent film. He travelled frequently, including through China and Manchuria. In these early years, he had a growing fascination with the West and Western culture on Japan.

His first very successful was Naomi (Chijin no ai) in 1924. Many of his works began to combine particular obsessions with traditional culture, such as kabuki and bunraku. After World War II, he won several highly prestigious awards, including the Asahi Prize in 1948, the Japanese Order of Culture in 1949, and an honorary membership in the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1964 — the first Japanese writer to be included in the Academy.

Tanizaki died of a heart attack at the age of 79. A literary prize was established in his name.

Jun'ichirō Tanizaki is a book author.

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