Famous Birthdays, History Today — February 20, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Famous Birthdays Today: 1883 -Shiga Naoya, Japan, novelist (Road Through Dark Night).


Naoya Shiga was a Japanese novelist and short story writer active during the Taishō and Showa periods of Japan.
Shiga was born in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi prefecture. His father, the son of a samurai, was a banker. The family moved to Tokyo when Shiga was three, to live with his grandparents, who were largely responsible for raising him. Shiga’s mother died when he was thirteen and his father remarried not long after. Shiga graduated from the Gakushuin Peer’s School and attended Tokyo Imperial University, where he met Uchimura Kanzō (who converted him to Christianity). However, he left university without graduating.
Shiga suffered the fate of many authors who are successful in they’re early years, combined with the fatal weakness of authors specializing in the autobiographical novel – after a while there is little or nothing left to write about. During the last 35 years of his life he occasionally appeared as a guest writer in various literary journals, where he reminisced about his early association with various Shirakaba school writers, or his former interest in Christianity, and he was given the title Shosetsu no Kami-sama (“God of Fiction”) by his fans, but he produced very little new work. He died of pneumonia, after a long illness, at the age of 88.

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