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KITAHARA Hakusyuu – 北原白秋

KITAHARA Hakushuu Portrait Lyricist

KITAHARA Hakushuu: A Master of Japanese Poetry and Song

KITAHARA Hakushuu (1885-1942) was a luminary in the world of Japanese poetry and children’s songs. His exceptional talent as a poet and his deep love for language left an indelible mark on Japanese modern literature.

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A Young Prodigy and a Pioneer of Innovation

Born in Yanagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, KITAHARA displayed extraordinary sensitivity from a young age, excelling in tanka and haiku poetry. In 1904, he moved to Tokyo and studied at Waseda University, where he met poets such as Ishikawa Takuboku and co-founded the “Shinshisha” (New Poetry Society).

Drawing inspiration from Symbolism and Romanticism, KITAHARA composed poems that were characterized by innovative use of language and vivid imagery. His first poetry collection,”Jashumon”(The Heretical Gate) published in 1909, sent shockwaves through the contemporary poetry scene and catapulted KITAHARA to fame.

A Multifaceted Talent: From Ballads to Children’s Songs

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Beyond his accomplishments as a poet, KITAHARA also produced numerous masterpieces in the genres of ballads and children’s songs.

His poetry collections, including “Kiri no Hana”(Paulownia Flowers), “Omoide”(Memories), and “Jashumon”(The Heretical Gate), captivate readers with their lyrical beauty and evocative imagery.

Beloved by children and adults alike, his children’s songs, such as “Amefuri“(Rain), “Yurikago no uta”(Cradle Song), “Kono michi“(This Road), “Pechka“(The Stove), and “Machibouke”(Standing in Vain), feature endearing melodies and heartwarming lyrics.

A Profound Love for Language: Infusing Emotion into Song

Hailed as a magician of words, KITAHARA was passionate about unlocking the full potential of the Japanese language. His works are imbued with a love for nature, joy for life, and profound emotions.

Transcending time, KITAHARA’s words continue to resonate with hearts and are cherished by countless individuals to this day.

Discovering the world of KITAHARA Hakushuu serves as a gateway to a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and aesthetic sensibilities.

Representative Works of KITAHARA Hakushuu

Children’s Songs:

Ame (Rain)
Amefuri (Rainy Day)
Yurikago no uta (Cradle Song)
Sunayama (Sand Mountain)
Karatachi no Hana (Orange Blossom)
Kono Michi (This Road)
Pechka (The Stove)
Awate Tokoya (Flustered Barber)
Machibouke (Standing in Vain)
Jougashima no Ame (Rain on Jougashima Island)

Poetry Collections / Song Collections:

Jashumon (The Heretical Gate)
Omoide (Memories)
Kiri no Hana (Paulownia Flowers)
Kimagire-shu (Collection of Whims)
Suzume no Tamago (Sparrow’s Egg)
Hata no Matsuri (Festival in the Field)
Shinju-sho (Pearl Collection)
…and many more