Harada Naojirō

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Harada Naojirō
Black-and-white photo of a Japanese man
Harada Naojirō, c. 1885
Native name
原田 直次郎
Born(1863-10-12)12 October 1863
Edo, Japan
Died26 December 1899(1899-12-26) (aged 36)

Harada Naojirō (原田 直次郎; 12 October 1863 – 26 December 1899) was a Japanese Western-style painter. He was a friend of the novelist Mori Ōgai and served as the model for the protagonist in Ōgai's short story "A Sad Tale" [ja] (1890).

Harada und Mori Ōgai in Munich

Life and career[edit]

Harada Naojirō was born in the Koishikawa area of Edo (modern Tokyo) on 12 October 1863.[a] He was the second son of Ai and Ichidō [ja]. Ichidō worked for the military government at the Bansho Shirabesho, where foreign books were studied and translated. He wanted his son to learn French, and to this end had Naojirō enrolled at the Osaka Kaisei School in 1870 and at the Tokyo School of Foreign Languages [ja] in 1873, from where he graduated in 1881. That August he married Ōkubo Sada.[b]

From the age of eleven Harada began studying yōga Western-style painting under Yamazaki Nariaki, and from 20 under Takahashi Yuichi, who at the time was the most prominent yōga painter in Japan. Harada moved to Germany in 1884, where he audited classes at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich he apprenticed under the Austrian painter Gabriel von Max, a friend of his brother Toyokichi's [ja]. While in Munich he befriended the German painter Julius Exter and the Japanese writer Mori Ōgai, who had been dispatched to Germany by the Ministry of War of Japan. In 1886, he began to live with a woman named Marie who worked in a café on the ground floor of the building he lodged in. Around that October he guided Viscount Hamao Arata around, who was on a government tour of inspection abroad. On 22 November he left a pregnant Marie and toured Switzerland, Venice, and Rome, meeting Japanese painters there, and audited classes at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He left France in May the next year.


  1. ^ The 30th day of the 8th month of the year of Bunkyū by the Japanese calendar
  2. ^ 大久保さだ