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Chuya Nakahara
Portrait of Chuya Nakahara

Chuya Nakahara (1907–1937) was a Japanese early modernist of conflicting impulses: apolitical but iconoclastic; a progressive formalist. Dismissive of institutions, he was a successful autodidact, and his mastery of waka (formal, 7/5-syllabic verse) and competency in French combined to provide for a hybrid evolution. He wrote in the wake of his Meiji-era predecessors while straining toward those symbolists and surrealists he admired and translated, and he is recognized today as one of the most scrupulous pre-war Japanese writers of poems informed by European models, especially the Petrarchan sonnet. He died of tuberculosis, having sold only a thousand books, but the 1967 edition of his collected works spans six volumes, and to date more criticism has been written on him than on any other Japanese poet. (updated 4/2013)

AGNI has published the following work:

Lost Hope
by Chuya Nakahara
Translated from the Japanese by Christian Nagle
AGNI 77 Print Only
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