Explore the World of Yasushi Inoue

Author Yasushi Inoue and Asahikawa

Yasushi Inoue, one of the authors representative of Japanese modern literature, was born in 1907 at a Japanese army officer's residence in Shunko-cho, Asahikawa, which was a military city where the 7th Division of the Japanese Army had been stationd for 17 years. Inoue loved Asahikawa very much, though he stayed in the city less than a year because his family left Asahikawa for his father Hayao's duty as a military doctor. Greatly impressed by stories about the beauty of Asahikawa in May his mother Yae told him, Inoue expressed his affection toward the city in his novel "My Childhood": "I have been very proud that I was born in Asahikawa in May." He visited the city four times in his life. Asahikawa, surrounded by the Taisetsu Range and adorned with the beauty of the four seasons, enjoys the perfect harmony of culture and nature.

Brief History of Yasushi Inoue

Born in Asahikawa, Hokkaido on May 6
Entered the philosophy Course, Literature Department of Imperial University of Kyoto (aesthetics major)
Married Fumi Adachi, the eldest daughter of Buntaro Adachi, honorary professor at Imperial University of Kyoto
Graduated from Imperial University of Kyoto, and joined the staff of Mainichi Newspapers' headquarters in Osaka as a religion and art reporter
Awarded the 22nd Akutagawa Award for his novel "The Bullfight," and also given many other prizes for his epic novels, such as "The Roof Tile of the Tempyo," "Tun-huang," and "Lou-lan."
Decorated with the Cultural Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the Japanese Government
Visited Asahikawa to attend its centennial ceremony and the unveiling of the Monument to Yasushi Inoue
Died on January 29 at the age of 83

Yasushi Inoue's Literature

Inoue won the Akutagawa Award, one of Japan's most prestigious literary awards, for his "The Bullfight" in 1950. Since then, he had created many works of various genres, such as newspaper novels, modern novels, historical novels, critical biographies, essays on arts and poetry. He also wrote his adoration for Central Asia and the Silk Road as well as his impressions of China and various other countries he visited, into poetry, novels and travel essays. The works Inoue produced in his 40-year career as a writer were large in scale with their motifs being universal and epic. In his later years, he worked on the theme of agonies and meanings of one's life.

About the Memorial Hall

The memorial hall presents Inoue's love to his birthplace Asahikawa as well as his 83 years life. Exhibits include notebooks containing his writing on Asahikawa and material collected for his works, poems on the theme of the city, original manuscripts, and personal items of the author. Works by artists who were Inoue's friends are also on display in the manner that visitors can link Inoue's writing with his friends' works. (About 500 items are on display out of about 1, 000 items collected in the memorial hall, with most of the collection being books.)

Inoue's Literature in Foreign Languages

Seventy-six of inoue's novels have been translated into 19 languages, such as English, French, German, Korean and Russian. They include "The Dark-Blue Wolf", "The Bullfight", "Icy Crag", "Tun-huang", "Lou-lan", and "Confucius". "The Hunting Gun" is available in 14 languages, being the most translated Inoue's work.