On Sheijiro Shimada

2017年7月30日Kanazawa

This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese) Français (French)

Seijiro Shimada is a character in our publication  “Kanazawa-East, West, Shyu and North“, and the drama took the material in the geisha houses in Kanazawa. Seijiro Shimada (born February 26, 1899- died April 29, 2009) is a writer of genius of premature death in 31 years. Besides the three great writers, Saisei Muroo, Kyoka Izumi, Shūsei Tokuda, Seijiro Shimada  is a unique existence.

In the drama, the landlady (the owner of the Geisha house) and Professor Kagami Izumi speak like this.


The landlady : “Seijiro Shimada died of illness confined in a psychiatric hospital. It’s written on the panel of the Yoshiyone-rô. “

Kagame Izumi : “So it appears. Concerning schizophrenia, it might be a preventive detention, If it is now. I think that the police at that time shut him in the hospital instead of a prison under the pretext of schizophrenia. He was considered a pioneer of a romance novel for young people. His novel is adapted for the screen by Daiei and the film is sold as a DVD. By Wikipedia, the masterpiece “On Earth" is televised by NHK Nagoya in 1962, adapted as a play by the troupe called New Cooperation Hokuriku.

How to say, in a sense, he loves Nietzsche and Dostoevsky, and I think he was a predecessor of our generation Zenkyôto (or Zengakuren). Anyway, I guess he’s a talented genius of the ability to write. Any judgment aside, all young men earn sociability and personality balanced with age in their own way. Like some students of Zenkyôto was increasingly radicalized by emphasizing the myth of revolution, Shimada was growing up in the Westernization of Japan, as the spirit of admirer, I think, towards the revolutionaries in the end of the Meiji period to the Taisho. Not only the literary world at the time, of course, but also the national police saw a dangerous factor in Shimada, the vanguard of radical molecules. In my opinion, people who made a film or a TV drama of his life, had some sympathy and nostalgia for him.”


Seijiro Shimada himself appears in the flashback sequence in the drama. The scene where he confesses light love feeling to Kikuno, childhood friend, illuminates the contrast mentality between Kikuno and Shimada. Kikuno, geisha of a teahouse expressed pride in her profession, while Shimada does not hide the strong inferiority complex to what he grew up in the Chaya (teahouses) district. Since my real grandmother is a model, as for Kikuno, this drama became a Deeply impressive work for me.

By the way, “ON EARTH" of Seijiro Shimada is filmized by the same name in 1957. In addition, his life is made a TV drama titled “Smile with full of tears – Seijiro Shimada, son of Meiji " by NHK in 1995.


Enjoy «On Earth» by EPUB (in japonais).

Trial reading

Please enjoy “On Earth" in preview.
On Earth

This preview is allowed to use BiB / i (EPUB READER on your Website) by Mr. Satoshi Matsushima.

“On Earth" was transformed into EPUB from the original text of AOZORA BUNKO (Blue Sky Pocket Book). You can download the EPUB file (in Japanese).