Kandzy Miyadzava

Kandzy Miyadzava

Japanese writer
Date of Birth: 27.08.1896
Country: Japan

Biography of Kenji Miyazawa

Kenji Miyazawa was a Japanese writer best known for his mysterious and romantic works, which intertwined the imagery of humans, animals, plants, and natural forces such as wind, clouds, light, and sun. He spent most of his life in his hometown of Iwate Prefecture, located in the northern part of Honshu Island.

Miyazawa was born to a wealthy pawnshop owner, which allowed him to witness the struggles of poor peasants who had to pawn their modest belongings at his father's establishment. Later in life, Miyazawa became a fervent follower of the Nihon Buddhist sect.

The victory in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 fueled the atmosphere of nationalism in Japan, and young Kenji Miyazawa was expected to pursue a military career or succeed in business. However, he did not live up to his parents' expectations. His interests extended to the study of plants and minerals. Due to circumstances, he was forced to choose agronomy as his field of study, relegating biology, geology, and later astronomy to mere hobbies. Miyazawa taught himself foreign languages, including English, German, and Esperanto, and he also had a passion for classical music.

He frequently embarked on trips to rural areas, distributing money to those in need. Miyazawa believed in the potential of every individual and their abilities. This belief is reflected in his famous work, "General Introduction to Agronomy," written in verse. One of the major events that greatly affected Miyazawa’s personal life was the death of his younger sister, Tosiko, who passed away from tuberculosis at the age of twenty-five.

The following year, still in a state of depression, Kenji boarded a ship to Sakhalin. His goal was not to escape the memories of his sister but, on the contrary, to attempt to find her soul that had vanished into nothingness while contemplating the dark and cold waters of the Sea of Okhotsk. Later, he would write his best work, "Night Train Journey on the Milky Way," in which he portrayed his ongoing state of depression. The novella is a moralistic fairy tale that describes the dream of a boy named Giovanni, who embarks on a train journey on the Milky Way with his friend, Campanella. Along their way, the characters encounter numerous eccentric and astonishing people who have died and now race through the sky in search of salvation. The "Story of the Children on the Sunken Ship" particularly leaves a strong impression, as these children also become companions of the two protagonists for a while.

Currently, there is a surge in popularity for Kenji Miyazawa in Japan. In 1996, in commemoration of the centenary of the writer's birth, exhibitions were organized throughout the country along with various events related to Miyazawa's life and works. The amazing world of Miyazawa's works, entwining the imagery of humans, animals, plants, and natural forces, continues to astonish and touch readers with its enigmatic charm and romance.