|Name Shinobu Orikuchi|
Movies The Book of the Dead
Education Kokugakuin University
|Died September 3, 1953|
|Similar People Kunio Yanagita, Kihachiro Kawamoto, Taeko Tomioka|
Shinobu Orikuchi (折口 信夫, Orikuchi Shinobu, 11 February 1887–3 September 1953), also known as Chōkū Shaku (釋 迢空, Shaku Chōkū), was a Japanese ethnologist, linguist, folklorist, novelist, and poet. As a disciple of Kunio Yanagita, he established an original academic field named "Orikuchiism" (折口学, Orikuchigaku), which is a mixture of Japanese folklore, Japanese classics, and Shintō. He produced many works in a diversity of fields covering the history of literature, folkloric performing arts, folklore itself, Japanese language, the classics study, Shintōology, ancient study, and so on. Yukio Mishima once called him the "Japanese Walter Pater".
Orikuchi was born in the former Nishinari, Ōsaka (now part of Naniwa-ku, Osaka). After graduating with a degree in Japanese literature from Kokugakuin University in 1910, he started to teach Japanese and Chinese classics at junior high schools. In 1919, he was employed as a part-time instructor in Kokugakuin University. In 1922, he was promoted to professor. In 1924, he was hired as a professor at Keio University as well; afterward, he taught at two different universities until he died. As a poet, he and Kitahara Hakushu established a tanka magazine called Nikkō ("Sunshine") in 1924. In 1925, he published Between the Sea and the Mountains (海山の間, Umi Yama no Aida), his first tanka book, which is highly estimated.
In 1934, he received a doctorate for his study on the Man'yōshū. He also established the Japan Folklorists Society (日本民俗協会). As a folklorist, Yanagita was known for rejecting every sexual subject; Orikuchi, in contrast, was very open-minded to these matters. He became a model for the protagonist in Mishima's short story Mikumano Mōde (三熊野詣), while his novel Shisha no Sho was the basis for a film by Kihachiro Kawamoto.