Kosugi Tengai

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was the pen-name of a novelist in Meiji, Taishō and Shōwa period Japan. His real name was Kosugi Tamezō. He is considered the founder of the naturalism movement in modern Japanese literature.

Kosugi was born in what is now Misato County, Akita Prefecture. He moved to Tokyo in 1886 to attend the English Law College (the forerunner of Chuo University, but soon dropped out to devote himself to writing full time. He associated himself briefly with Mori Ōgai and with Ozaki Kōyō before becoming a disciple of literary critic and satirical author Saitō Ryokuu.

He was hired by the literary magazine Shincho gekan in 1897, but was transferred by the magazine to the newspaper Sports Hochi.

He published his first novel, Hatsusugata, a story about a geisha and her relationship with men from different social strata in 1900. He followed with a sequel, Hayariuta, in 1902, which was one of his most successful works. Kosugi attempted to write in a realistic and objective manner, without intruding the thoughts or comments of the author into the story narrative, which was considered rather revolutionary for the time. In the forward to Hatsusugata, he commented that he "seeks to move the reader not by the unusual, but by what is normal and average." Hijiya-Kirschnereit. Rituals of Self-Revelation. page 22. . Familiar with Zola and other French authors, his experimentation towards realism is considered a forerunner of a Japanese style of naturalism. Although...
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