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Ango Sakaguchi

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Name  Ango Sakaguchi
Role  Novelist
Children  Tsunao Sakaguchi

Ango Sakaguchi Darakuron de Sakaguchi Ango

Died  February 17, 1955, Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, Japan
Spouse  Michiyo Sakaguchi (m. 1953)
Siblings  Kinu Sakaguchi, Hozue Sakaguchi, Yuki Sakaguchi, Kenkichi Sakaguchi, Shiu Sakaguchi, Nui Sakaguchi
Movies  The War and a Woman, Dr Akagi, Hakuchi: The Innocent, Bungo: Sasayaka na yokubo
Similar People  Osamu Dazai, Sakunosuke Oda, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, Akimitsu Takagi

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Ango Sakaguchi (坂口 安吾, Sakaguchi Ango, October 20, 1906 – February 17, 1955) was a Japanese novelist and essayist. His real name was Heigo Sakaguchi (坂口 炳五 Sakaguchi Heigo).


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Ango Sakaguchi Ango Sakaguchi Wikipedia

From Niigata, Sakaguchi was one of a group of young Japanese writers to rise to prominence in the years immediately following Japan's defeat in World War II. In 1946 he wrote his most famous essay, titled "Darakuron" ("Discourse on Decadence"), which examined the role of bushido during the war. It is widely argued that he saw postwar Japan as decadent, yet more truthful than a wartime Japan built on illusions like bushido. (The work itself does not make any claims about the meaning of decadence.)

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Ango was born in 1906, and was the 12th child of 13. He was born in the middle of a Japan perpetually at war. His father was the president of the Niigata Shinbun newspaper, a politician, and a poet.

Ango wanted to be a writer at 16. He moved to Tokyo at 17, after hitting a teacher who caught him truanting. His father died from brain cancer the following year, leaving his family in massive debt. At 20, Ango taught for a year as a substitute teacher following secondary school. He became heavily involved in Buddhism and went to University to study Indian philosophy, graduating at the age of 25. Throughout his career as a student, Ango was very vocal in his opinions.

He wrote various works of literature after graduating, receiving praise from writers such as Makino Shin’ichi. His literary career started around the same time as Japan’s expansion into Manchuria. He met his wife to be, Yada Tsuseko, at 27. His mother died when he was 37, in the middle of World War II. He struggled for recognition as a writer for years before finally finding it with “A Personal View of Japanese Culture” in 1942, and again with “On Decadence” in 1946. Ango had a child at 48 with his second wife, Michiyo Kaji. He died from a brain aneurysm at age 48 in 1955.

Works in English translation

  • Literary Mischief: Sakaguchi Ango, Culture, and the War, edited by James Dorsey and Doug Slaymaker, with translations by James Dorsey. Lanham, MA: Lexington Books, 2010. (Critical essays by Doug Slaymaker, James Dorsey, Robert Steen, Karatani Kojin, and Ogino Anna.)
  • Short story
  • "Pearls" [Shinju, 1942]
  • Essays
  • "A Personal View of Japanese Culture" [Nihon bunka shikan, 1942]
  • "Discourse on Decadence" [Darakuron, 1946]
  • "Discourse on Decadence, Part II" [Zoku darakuron, 1946]
  • Short stories
  • "The Idiot" [Hakuchi, 1946]. Transl. by George Saitô in Modern Japanese Stories, ed. by Ivan Morris. Rutland and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1962, 383-410.
  • "One Woman and the War" [Zoku Sensô to hitori no onna, 1946]. Transl. by Lane Dunlop in Autumn Wind and Other Stories. Rutland and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1994, 140-160.
  • "The War and a Woman" [Sensô to hitori no onna, 1946]. Transl. by Robert Zetzsche in Sakiko Nomura: Ango. Match and Company, 2017
  • "In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom" [Sakura no mori no mankai no shita, 1947]. Trans. by Jay Rubin in The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories, ed. by Theodore W. Goossen. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 187-205.
  • Essay
  • "A Personal View of Japanese Culture" [Nihon bunka shikan, 1942]. Transl. by James Dorsey in Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature, ed. by Thomas Rimer and Van Gessel. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002, pp. 823-835.
  • References

    Ango Sakaguchi Wikipedia

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