Tōson Shimazaki was born in Haruki Shimazaki in Magome, now part of Nakatsugawa, in 1872. He graduated from Meiji Gakuin University and started teaching. At this time, he started taking an interest in writing. After taking up a teaching post at Tohoku Gakuin University, he published his first collection of poetry. He received critical acclaim for his poetry but then started writing prose fiction. His first work – 破戒 (The Broken Commandment) – was hailed as the first Japanese naturalist novel. He went on to write several well-received novels, including the scandalous (新生 (New Life) about his extramarital affair with his niece. He died in 1943.
Books about Tōson Shimazaki
William Naff: The Kiso Road: The Life and Times of Shimazaki Toson
(Only works translated into English)
1906 破戒 (The Broken Commandment)
1910-11 家 (The Family)
1912 千曲川のスケツチ (Chikuma River Sketches)
1929-35 夜明け前 (Before the Dawn)