Takeo Arishima was born in 1878. His father was a Satsuma samurai, who later became a high official in the Ministry of Finance and was involved in key government businesses, including the Japanese mail boat and railways companies. After high school, where he was the official friend of the Crown Prince, Arishima studied agriculture. His father gave him a farm (which he later gave to his tenant farmers, shortly before killing himself.) While at agricultural college Arishima turned to Christianity, possibly as a way of rebelling against the traditional Japanese values of his father. In 1903, Arishima went to America for three years, where he studied at Haverford College and where he came under the influence of both Whitman and Kropotkin. It was their influence that led to his giving his farm away. In 1916, his wife died of tuberculosis and his father also died. Freed from his father’s authority, he took up writing. He produced quite a few works, while suffering from bouts of depression. His best-known – Aru Onna (A Certain Woman) – written in the European style, was considered unJapanese but made his reputation during his lifetime. He killed himself in 1923 in the company of the woman he loved, Akiko Hatano, a married magazine writer.
1911 或る女 (A Certain Woman)
1918 迷路 (Labryrinth)
1918 生れ出る悩み (The Agony of Coming into the World)