17 July 1878|
Amami Ōshima, Japan
|Died||22 November 1958
Shomu Nobori (昇 曙夢 Nobori Shomu , 17 July 1878 - 22 November 1958) was the pen-name of a noted translator and educator of Russian literature in Taishō and Shōwa period Japan. His real name was Naotaka Nobori (昇 直隆 Nobori Naotaka ). He also served as a special advisor to the Japanese cabinet on Russian and Soviet issues.[page needed]
Nobori was born in Kakeromajima, one of the Amami Islands in Kagoshima prefecture. Born as a son of a scholar of Russian literature, he was baptized at Kagoshima Orthodox Church soon after his birth. He attended a school run by the Russian Orthodox Church in Tokyo where he was initially a seminarian, and he later worked as a teacher at the same school. Recruited into the Imperial Japanese Army during the Russo-Japanese War for his Russian language abilities, the war came to an end before he graduated from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy.
Despite the unpopularity of things Russian after the war, he contributed articles on Russian culture and literature to magazines and newspapers, and worked on the first comprehensive survey of Russian literature in Japanese, Roshia Bungaku Kenkyu ("Studies on Russian Literature", 1907). In 1912, he worked as an instructor at the Central Military Preparatory School, and from 1915 as a lecturer at Waseda University. He was also a professor at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy from 1916. In 1928, he traveled to the Soviet Union on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Tolstoy, and on his return to Japan was the acknowledged Japanese expert on Soviet literature and culture. His translations of various Russian authors from the 1930s and onwards cover almost all major authors in every period. He was awarded the Yomiuri Literary Prize in 1956 for his A History of Russian and Soviet Literature.
Many of his translations of Russian into Japanese, as well as his analysis and literary criticisms of Russian authors were later translated from Japanese into Chinese. Asia and Africa Today stated that Nobori connects "connects the achievements of Russian literature" with Gogol and Alexander Pushkin.
After World War II, Nobori was one of leading figures in Amami Islands Homeland Restoration Movement. The islands where he had been born was separated from Japan after the war and under the United States' administration under the name "Northern Ryukyu Islands".[page needed]
He died in 1958, and his grave is at the Tama Cemetery, outside of Tokyo.
- Nobori, Shomu. The Great Russian Writer, Nikolai Gogol (露国文豪ゴーゴリ Rokoku Bungō Gōgori) was published in 1904.
- Nobori, Shomu. Dai Amami-shi (大奄美史, "History of Great Amami") 1949, Kagoshima.
- Nobori, Shomu and Katsumaro Akamatsu. The Russian Impact on Japan Literature and Social Thought. University of Southern California Press (1981). ASIN: B0006Y4HZY
- Asia and Africa Today. 1979, Issues 19-24. Contributors: Sovetskiĭ komitet solidarnosti stran Azii i Afriki, Institut vostokovedenii͡a (Akademii͡a nauk SSSR), Institut Afriki (Akademii͡a nauk SSSR).
- Matsumoto, Nobuhiro, Tōichi Mabuchi, Keiō Gijuku Daigaku. Gengo Bunka Kenkyūjo. Folk religion and the worldview in the southwestern Pacific: papers submitted to a symposium, the Eleventh Pacific Science Congress held in August–September 1966. Keio Institute of Cultural and Linguistic Studies. Keio University, 1968.
- Nobori, Shomu and Katsumaro Akamatsu. The Russian Impact on Japan Literature and Social Thought. University of Southern California Press (1981). ASIN: B0006Y4HZY[page needed]
- Wada, Yoshihide. Roshia bungakusha Nobori Shomu & Akutagawa Ryunosuke ronko. Izumi Shoin (2001) ISBN 4-7576-0105-0 (Japanese)[page needed]
- Ravina, Mark (2011). The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori. Wiley. ISBN 1118045564.
- Rimer, Thomas J. A hidden fire: Russian and Japanescultural encounters, 1868-1926. Stanford University Press (1995). ISBN 0804725136, page 162
- Gamsa, Mark. The Chinese translation of Russian literature: three studies. Brill. 2008. ISBN 9004168443 Page 219
- Asia and Africa Today. 1979, Issues 19-24. p. 50. "The year 1904 saw the publication of Shomu Nobori's book The Great Russian Writer, Nikolai Gogol, in which the author includes material on Pushkin.[...] Shomu Nobori connects the achievements of Russian literature, which has produced such brilliant writers as Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, and Gorky, with whom Japanese readers are already well familiar, with Pushkin and Gogol, whom he calls[...]"
- Eldridge, Robert D. The Return of the Amami Islands: The Reversion Movement and U. S.-Japan relations. Lexington Books (2004). ISBN 0739107100
- Matsumoto, et al., "Some Problems of Folk-Religion in the Southwest Islands (Ryūkyū)," p. 117. "Nobori Shomu, 1949 : Dai Amami-shi (History of Great Amami), Kagoshima."