27 August 1896 - 21 September 1933
In Tokyo, while staying with a friend, he was introduced to the works of poet Sakutarō Hagiwara, and was encouraged to start writing. After eight months in Tokyo, during which time he began to write children's stories, he returned to Hanamaki due to the illness and subsequent death of his younger sister.
He found employment as a teacher in agricultural science at Hanamaki Agricultural High School (花巻農学校). Saving his meagre salary, he was able to finance the publication of his first collection of children's stories and fairy tales (Chūmon no Ōi Ryōriten - 注文の多い料理店 - The Restaurant of Many Orders) and a portion of a collection of free-verse poems (Haru to Shura - 春と修羅 - Spring and Asura) in 1924. Although neither work was a commercial success, his writings came to the attention of poets Kotaro Takamura and Shimpei Kusano, who admired his writing greatly and introduced it to the literary world.
As a teacher, his students viewed him as passionate but rather eccentric, as he insisted that learning came through actual, firsthand experience of things. He often took his students out of the classroom, not only for training, but just for enjoyable walks in the hills and fields. He also had them put on plays they wrote themselves.
From 1926 until his death in 1933, Miyazawa struggled to improve the material and spiritual life of the impoverished peasants of his native Iwate. He introduced new agricultural techniques and new varieties of seeds. He left his position as instructor at Hanamaki Agriculture School in 1926 to establish the Rasu Farmers Association. At the detached house of his family, where he was staying at the time, he gathered together a group of youths from nearby farming families and lectured on agronomy. The association also engaged in plays, music, and other cultural activities
His writings from this period show sensitivity for the land and for the people who work in it. A prolific writer of children's stories, many of which appear superficially to be light or humorous, all contain stories intended for moral education of the reader. He also wrote some works in prose, some stage plays for his students, and left behind a large amount of tanka and free verse, most of which was only discovered and published posthumously. His poetry, which has been translated into numerous languages, has a considerable following to this day. A number of his children’s works have been made into animated movies (anime) in Japan.
Miyazawa's works were influenced by contemporary trends of romanticism and the proletarian literature movement, but above all were influenced by his devotion to the Lotus Sutra in particular.
Miyazawa struggled with pleurisy for many years, and was often incapacitated for months at a time. He died in 1933 of pneumonia.
editor's note: -
5 years ago