Kan Kikuchi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For a Japanese footballer, see Kan Kikuchi (footballer).
Kan Kikuchi
Kan Kikuchi smoking.jpg
Native name 菊池 寛
Born Hiroshi Kikuchi
(1888-12-26)December 26, 1888
Takamatsu, Kagawa
Died March 6, 1948(1948-03-06) (aged 59)
Occupation Novelist
Nationality Japanese

Hiroshi Kikuchi (菊池 寛 Kikuchi Hiroshi?, December 26, 1888 – March 6, 1948), known by his pen name Kan Kikuchi (which uses the same kanji as his real name), was a Japanese author born in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. He established the publishing company Bungeishunjū, the monthly magazine of the same name, the Japan Writer's Association and both the Akutagawa and Naoki Prize for popular literature. During the Meiji period, Kikuchi Kan's main focus was to accurately portray the hardships of daily lives of the common people. He was one of the leading playwrights during the Meiji period. In 1920, Kikuchi Kan's success was more recognized in the general public after the success of one of his pieces of work, Shinju fujin (真珠夫人Madame Pearl). He was also the head of Daiei Motion Picture Company (currently Kadokawa Pictures). He is known to have been an avid player of Mahjong.

Early career[edit]

In 1904-1905 after the Russo-Japanese War, literature in Japan grew more modern.[1] Major influences from Western countries including Europe, India, and China contributed to the creation of modern literature in Japan. In comparison to literature in European countries, new Japanese literature did not achieve as much popularity; few works of Japanese playwrights were translated into a European language.[2] Kikuchi Kan saw the language barrier and inaccuracy of translation as part of the central causes.[3]

Kikuchi Kan was widely claimed as "a playwright who transformed Irish plays into a Japanese context".[4] Though recognizing distinct characteristics between Western and Japanese cultures, Kikuchi Kan used his Japanese roots as the foundation of many of his works . This, in turn, resulted in Kikuchi Kan creating his style of writing in Japanese drama.[5] One of his early works, Kayano Yane (茅の屋根 Thatched Cottage), represents one of Kikuchi Kan's portrayal of societal issues during his time, which increased his popularity in modern Japanese literature. Other themes include issues of morality, money, class, and gender.[6] The heavy influence of common issues in Kikuchi Kan's works gained accolade from critics and dramatists.

Elements of drama Kikuchi Kan considered to be the most effective are the one-act play and the minimal number of characters. "The one-act play" he wrote, "is different from long plays - three-acts or five-acts. It should extract the most dramatic elements from all and has to effectively treat it within a limited time." With this short amount of time, Kikuchi Kan's portrays his message in a core event, with meticulous use of exposition.[7]

Naoki and Akutagawa Prizes[edit]

Kikuchi Kan dedicated the Akutagawa Prize to Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (芥川 龍之介) after his death in 1927.[8] The Akutagawa Prize Committee was composed of the close friends of Bungei Shunjusha. The Akutagawa Prize was given every six months to rising authors of original literature (Sōsaku) that were published in any newspaper or magazine. The Akutagawa Prizes were published in Bungeishunjū issues. The prize included both a watch and cash award of five hundrend Japanese yen (¥).[9]

Akutagawa Ryunosuke

The Naoki Prize was created by Kikuchi Kan as tribute to literary author Sanjugo Naoki (直木 三十五) after his death in February 1934.[10] The Naoki Prize was given to rising authors of popular literature. The Naoki prizes were published in Oru Yomimono (オール讀物) issues.

Naoki Sanjugo

The process of choosing recipients of the two prizes is for the committees to select already published manuscripts in Coterie and commercial magazines and newspapers. After producing the two prizes, Kikuchi Kan initially decided on having the prizes reflect the Kenshō shōsetsu type of award, in which submitted and unpublished manuscripts were selected by a committee.

Selected work[edit]

Kan Kikuchi's published writings encompass 512 works in 683 publications in 7 languages and 2,341 library holdings.[11]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Morichini, Giuseppe (1955). "Prewar and Postwar Japanese Fiction: Why the former is little known and why the latter should be better known in the West". East and West 6: 138. 
  2. ^ Morichini, Giuseppe (1955). "Prewar and Postwar Japanese Fiction: Why the former is little known and why the latter should be better known in the West". East and West 6: 141. 
  3. ^ Morichini, Giuseppe (1955). "Prewar and Postwar Japanese Fiction: Why the former is little known and why the latter should be better known in the West". East and West 6: 141. 
  4. ^ Kojima, Chiaki (2004). "J.M. Synge and Kan Kikuchi: From Irish Drama to Japanese New Drama". Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies 10: 99. 
  5. ^ Morichini, Giuseppe (1955). "Prewar and Postwar Japanese Fiction: Why the former is little known and why the latter should be better known in the West". East and West 6: 140. 
  6. ^ Suzuki, Michiko (2012). ""Shinju fujin," Newpapers, and Celebrity in Taishō Japan". Japan Review. 
  7. ^ Kojima, Chiaki (2004). "J.M. Synge and Kan Kikuchi: From Irish Drama to Japanese New Drama". Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies 10: 109. 
  8. ^ Mack, Edward (2004). "Accounting for Taste: The Creation of the Akutagawa and Naoki Prizes for Literature". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 64: 299. 
  9. ^ Mack, Edward (2004). "Accounting for Taste: The Creation of the Akutagawa and Naoki Prizes for Literature". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 64: 300. 
  10. ^ Mack, Edward (2004). "Accounting for Taste: The Creation of the Akutagawa and Naoki Prizes for Literature". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 64: 299. 
  11. ^ WorldCat Identities: 菊池寬 1888-1948

References[edit]

External links[edit]