Sadakichi Hartmann

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Photograph of Hartmann from 1914 by Howard D. Beach
Hartmann as the court magician in the Douglas Fairbanks film The Thief of Bagdad, 1924

Carl Sadakichi Hartmann (November 8, 1867 - November 22, 1944) was a critic and poet of German and Japanese descent.

Hartmann, born on the artificial island of Dejima, Nagasaki as the son of the German businessman Carl Herman Oskar Hartmann and Osada Hartmann and raised in Germany, became an American citizen in 1894. An important early participant in modernism, Hartmann was a friend of such diverse figures as Walt Whitman, Stéphane Mallarmé and Ezra Pound. His poetry, deeply influenced by the Symbolists as well as orientalist literature, includes 1904's Drifting Flowers of the Sea and Other Poems, 1913's My Rubaiyat and 1915's Japanese Rhythms. His works of criticism include Shakespeare in Art (1901) and Japanese Art (1904). During the 1910s, Hartmann let himself be crowned King of the Bohemians by Guido Bruno in New York's Greenwich Village.[1] Hartmann wrote some of the earliest English language haiku. He was also one of the first critics to write about photography, with regular essays in Alfred Stieglitz's Camera Notes.

Later years found him living in Hollywood and Banning, California. He made a brief appearance in the Douglas Fairbanks film The Thief of Bagdad as the court magician.[1] In 1944, he died while visiting his daughter in St. Petersburg, Florida.


  • Christ: A Dramatic Poem in Three Acts (play, 1893)
  • Buddha: A Drama in Twelve Scenes (play, 1897)
  • Mohammed (play, 1899)
  • Schopenhauer in the Air: Seven Stories (1899)
  • Shakespeare in Art (1900)
  • A History of American Art (1901)
  • Japanese Art (1903) [1]
  • Drifting Flowers of the Sea and Other Poems (1904) [2]
  • Landscape and Figure Composition (1910) [3]
  • My Theory of Soul Atoms (1910) [4]
  • The Whistler Book (1910) [5]
  • My Rubaiyat (1913) [6]
  • Permanent Peace: Is it a Dream? (1915)
  • Tanka and Haikai: Japanese Rhythms (1916) [7]
  • The Last Thirty Days of Christ (1920) [8]
  • Confucius: A Drama in Two Acts (play, 1923)
  • Moses: A Drama in Six Episodes (play, 1934)
  • Buddha, Confucius, Christ: Three Prophetic Plays (reprint collection, 1971)


  1. ^ a b William Bryk (26 January 2005). "King of the Bohemians". The New York Sun. 

Weaver, Jane (ed.). Sadakichi Hartmann: Critical Modernist. University of California Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0-520-06767-7

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