Nankichi Niimi cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Nankichi Niimi

Japanese writer

1913   -   1943

country of citizenship: Japan
language of expression: Japanese
educated at: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
occupation: writer, children's writer, poet

Ebooks: on Wikisource

Nankichi Niimi (新美 南吉, Niimi Nankichi, July 30, 1913–March 22, 1943) was a Japanese author, sometimes known as the Hans Christian Andersen of Japan.Niimi was born Shōhachi Watanabe (渡邊 正八, Watanabe Shōhachi) in Yanabe, in the city of Handa, Aichi prefecture, on July 30, 1913. He lost his mother when he was four years old. His literary skill was noticeable at an early age. During his elementary school graduation ceremony, he presented a haiku that impressed most people at the ceremony. The Dandelion So Many Days Trampled Today’s FlowerAt age 18, Niimi moved to Tokyo to enter the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. He fell sick with tuberculosis while in Tokyo shortly after graduating, and returned to his hometown. He worked there, first as an elementary school teacher, then as a women's high school teacher. He died at age 29. Although not prolific, he shows great talent in all of his writings. His works are known for their accuracy and lively depictions of humans. He is also often compared to Kenji Miyazawa. There is a Niimi Nankichi Memorial Museum in his birthplace, Handa.
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