The most famous son of Yuda Onsen, a resort town next to Yamaguchi City in Yamaguchi Prefecture, is the poet Chuya Nakahara.
Born in 1907, his talent for poetry was apparent from an early age as he was publishing poems while still an elementary school pupil.
At the age of 16 he discovered Dadaism and soon after the French symbolist poet Rimbaud, and abandoned traditional forms of poetry.
He died at the age of 30 of menengitis, though not without leaving his mark on modern Japanese poetry, though he is remembered as much for his bohemian lifestyle, and his hat, as he is for his poetry.
He is not so well known outside of Japan.
There is an excellent website on him nakaharachuya.com.
In Yuda Onsen he is remembered by the obligatory "Memorial Museum" which houses objects from his life and a library of his manuscripts.
Tel: 083 932 6430
He, or rather his hat, is also memorialized in a series of manhole covers in the street near the museum.
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中原中也 Chuya Nakahara Yamaguchi Japanese poetry
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
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