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Shin Hasegawa

  • Biography
1884-1963. Playwright and writer. After working as a newspaper reporter, Hasegawa started to write novels at the age of 30. In 1928, he successively published best sellers on the theme of wanderers and their encounters, starting with the plays entitled Kutsukake Tokijiro (This title is from the name of the main character in these plays), Mabuta no Haha (Long Sought Mother), and Ippongatana Dohyoiri (With One Sword). His plays depicted a traditional sense of morals, such as duty and human kindness of the common people, and became hugely popular among commoners. He published his masterpiece period novel Matazaemon Araki, based on meticulous research of historical facts from 1935 and 1936, and in 1956 he received the Kikuchi Hiroshi Award for his full-length nonfiction work, Nihon Horyoshi (A Japanese Captive’s Diary).

  • Association with Minato City
Opened a study class in his own home and nurtured brilliant leaders of popular literature

In 1940, Hasegawa moved from Takanawa Minami-machi to a newly built house in 2-banchi, Nihonenoki Nishimachi, Shiba Ward. In the previous year he had revived the publication of the popular literature magazine Taishu Bungei as a means to nurture new writers and publish their works, but this time he put his efforts into training popular writers by opening a study class called Shinyokai at his home once a month.

The atmosphere of Shinyokai was stern, and it is said that the voices of the new writers reading their pieces quavered from nervousness. Hasegawa lived in his home in Shirokanedai where he turned out brilliant writers, such as Genzo Murakami, Sohachi Yamaoka, Shotaro Ikenami, and Yumie Hiraiwa, until his death at the age of 79.

In 1977, the Mita Library was awarded the Hasegawa Shin Award in recognition of its publications, such as Kindai Enkaku Zushu (Illustrated Modern History).

Asahi Jinbutsu Jiten (Asahi Biographical Dictionary) (Asahi Shimbunsha)
Tokyo: Bungaku no Sanpomichi (Tokyo: Literary Walks) (Haruo Nakatani / Kodansha)

  • Literary Works
Matatabi Shinhakkei (The Wanderers: Eight New Views) (Kobunsha Jidai Shosetsu Bunko)
Nihon Horyoshi Volumes 1 & 2 (Japanese Captive’s Diary Volumes 1 & 2) (Chuko Bunko)
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  • Related Publications
Hasegawa Shin Ron: Giri Ninjo to wa nanika (Shin Hasegawa Theory: What are Duty and Human Kindness) (Tadao Sato / Iwanami Gendai Bunko)
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