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Hideo Kobayashi

  • Biography
1902-1983. A critic. Born in Sarugaku-cho, Chiyoda City. Hideo was strongly influenced by Baudelaire’s book, The Flowers of Evil, which he received from Taro Tominaga, a poet and his friend from Daiichi High School. While studying French literature at Tokyo Imperial University, he became devoted to the French poet Arthur Rimbaud. In 1929 he released Samazama naru Isho (Various Designs) and carved out a serious genre of contemporary critique. He continued to pursue the potential of critical literature without being limited to literary works such as Mujo to Iukoto (Transience), Mozart, Modern Paintings, Van Gogh’s Letters, and Norinaga Motoori.

  • Association with Minato City
Deepened interactions with litterateurs in the home of Jiro Aoyama in Azabu

In 1915, when Hideo was 13, he moved from Kanda to Imazato-cho, Shirogane. In March the same year, he graduated from Shirogane Jinjo Elementary School and entered Tokyo Furitsu Daiichi Junior High School. He lived there until his house was sold in 1924, a year after the Great Kanto earthquake, when he was 22. His whole family subsequently moved to Mabashi in Suginami. That year he was introduced to Jiro Aoyama, an art critic, by the English litterateur Shigeharu Ishimaru. He started to frequent the Aoyama house in Ichinohashi, Azabu, and deepened his friendship with literary friends such as the literary critic Tetsutaro Kawakami, the poet Tatsuji Miyoshi, and the writer Shohei O-oka. Hideo was later inspired by Aoyama and enjoyed antiques.
In the fall of 1927, he lived for several months in Shiroganedai-cho, Shiba Ward, near Tetsutaro Kawakami’s house, but after 1931 he lived in Kamakura. In 1967 he was awarded the Order of Culture. He died in 1983 from renal failure, and his funeral was held at the Aoyama Funeral Hall.

Bungei Dokuhon - Kobayashi Hideo (Literary Works - Hideo Kobayashi) (Kawade Shobo Shinsha)
Nihon no Sakka 14, Kobayashi Hideo (Japanese Writers No.14, Hideo Kobayashi) (Shogakukan)

  • Literary Works
Mozart, Mujo to Iukoto (Mozart, Transience) (Shincho Bunko)
X he no Tegami, Shishosetsuron (Letters to X, Theory of the I-Novel)
Gohho he no Tegami (Letters to Van Gogh) (Kadokawa Bunko)
Motoori Norinaga Jo Ge (Norinaga Motoori Parts 1 & 2) (Shincho Bunko)
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  • Related Publications
Ani Kobayashi Hideo to no Taiwa (Conversations with my brother Hideo Kobayashi) (Junko Takamisawa/Kodansha)
Shigami to Shukumei - Kobayashi Hideo-ron (Muse and Destiny - Theory of Hideo Kobayashi) (Toru Kitagawa/Ozawa Shoten)
Kobayashi Hideo wo Koete (Transcending Hideo Kobayashi) (Kojin Karatani, Kenji Nakagami) (Kawade Shobo Shinsha)
Imawa Mukashi (Now is the Past) (Mitsuo Nakamura/Kodansha)
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