Haniya Yutaka


Haniya was born in Taiwan (occupied by Japan) in 1909 and he died on February 19 1997 at age of 87. He is a descendant of samurai of Soma domain and his real family name is Han'nya, which is after Han'nya Sutra (The Scripture of Buddha's Supreme Insight). He was lymphatic in boyhood and he got tuberculosis in high-teens. He is always sickly but he gets anyhow long life to be known as a master of memorial addresses.

When he was student, he was absorbed in plays and movies. He was interested in anarchism but he joined Japan Communist Party in 1931. In the next year he became the director of agriculture in JCP and was arrested at once. He was sent to a hospital prison to devote himself to Kant's The Criticism of Pure Reason and meditations. He had many visions in solitude of a cell to be disinterested in communism and JCP.

After the defeat of Japan, he started a little magazine titled Kindai Bungaku (Modern Literature), which was one of the important positions of Japanese literature after World War II, with the legacy of his mother.

He has many friends but his only novel, Sire (Death Spirits), is considered heretic. He published many essays and interviews in order to make readers understand it. Death Spirits is literally his life work.

He died on February 19 1997 and Kodansha Co. began to publish his complete works in 19 volumes since February 1998.


Death Spirits (1946 - 1996)

Unfinished metaphysical novel affected by Kant and slapstick movies. Haniya started it in 1946 and, after many interruptions, he published 9th chapter in 1995 at long last. In his plan, however, it consists of 15 chapters.

Manuscripts of Death Spirits

Black Horses in the Darkness and other stories(1970)

Excelent short stories describing dreams and visions.

Copyright 1996 Kato Koiti

This page was created on Feb02 1997; Last Updated on March 9 1998.

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