Shimamura Hogetsu, born Sasayama Takitaro, was a literary critic, playwright, and pioneer of the shingeki (new theater) movement. After graduating from college, he worked as a reporter for Waseda Bungaku (Waseda Literature) and also for the Yomiuri newspaper before being hired as a college lecturer. From 1902 to 1905, he lived abroad in Germany and England, and upon his return was hired as a professor at Waseda University. He also was appointed chairman of Waseda and was active in the naturalism movement. Together with Tsubouchi Shoyo, he formed the Bungei kyokai (Society of Arts and Literature) in 1906 and went on to perform theatrical translations of plays by Henrik Ibsen and William Shakespeare. He withdrew from the Society in 1913 after a scandal over his relationship with actress Matsui Sumako (1886–1919). In that same year, he and Matsui formed the Geijutsuza (Arts Theater) and performed his adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel Resurrection to wide critical acclaim. Shimamura died in the influenza epidemic of 1918.

Historical dictionary of modern Japanese literature and theater. . 2009.

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