Sakutarō Hagiwara Criticism - Essay

Donald K. Shults (essay date 1973)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: "Hagiwara Sakutarō's Fitzgerald," in Prairie Schooner, Vol. 47, No. 2, Summer, 1973, pp. 174-77.

[In the following essay, Shults reviews Graeme Wilson's translation of Hagiwara's poetry in The Face at the Bottom of the World, and Other Poems.]

To most of us the dark vault of Asian literature would remain forever locked without the work of such men as the aviation expert, diplomat, scholar Graeme Wilson, one of that small band of occidentals literate in Japanese, a language that is often difficult even to those whose native tongue it is.

"Perhaps our greatest modern poet," said one Japanese scholar when asked about Sakutarō's work, "but...

(The entire section is 1140 words.)

Reiko Tsukimura (essay date 1976)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: "Hagiwara Sakutarō and the Japanese Lyric Tradition," in Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese, Vol 11, No. 1, January, 1976, pp. 47-63.

[In the following essay, Tsukimura provides an analysis of Hagiwara's poetic techniques.]

Hagiwara Sakutarō had published over 200 tanka before he began his career as a poet writing in the free modern style at the age of twenty-seven. His earliest published compositions are five poems in the tanka form which appeared in 1902 under the general title "One Night's Bond" ("Hitoyo enishi") in the alumni magazine of the Maebashi Middle School where he was then a third-year student. In them, the young Hagiwara...

(The entire section is 3737 words.)

Hiroaki Sato (essay date 1978)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Introduction to Howling at the Moon: Poems of Hagiwara Sakutarō, pp. xi-xxvi. Tokyo: University of Tokyo, 1978.

[In the following essay, Sato offers an overview of Hagiwara's development as a poet.]

Hagiwara Sakutarō was born the first son of a prosperous physician in Maebashi, Gumma. Toward the end of his life Sakutarō described his birthplace as a "sanguinary, barbarous blank-paper zone utterly devoid of any cultural tradition," but to be fairer to reality, it was a place close enough to Tokyo for him to go there as he liked, yet far enough for him to yearn for "the city" until he finally moved there to live. Traditionally, the first son enjoys most of the...

(The entire section is 4051 words.)

Donald Keene (essay date 1984)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Taisho Period (1912-1926)," in Dawn to the West, Japanese Literature of the Modern Era: Poetry, Drama, Criticism, Vol. 25, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1984, pp. 255-91.

[In the following excerpt, Keene discusses the emotional characteristics of Hagiwara's poetry and his innovative use of colloquial language.]

Hagiwara is by common consent the chief figure of modern Japanese poetry. He is not an easy poet, and the exact interpretations of many works elude the exegesis of even his most devoted admirers, but his work both commands the respect of other poets and critics and is popular with the general public. The novelist and poet Fukunaga Takehiko gave a...

(The entire section is 5107 words.)