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80th anniversary of poet Hagiwara’s death to be to commemorated

Courtesy of Maebashi City Museum of Literature
Sakutaro Hagiwara

A special exhibition to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the death of Sakutaro Hagiwara (1886-1942), a famous poet best known for “Tsuki ni Hoeru” (“Howling at the Moon”), will be held at various locations nationwide from October through January.

Looking back on his poetry and his life, “Hagiwara Sakutaro Taizen 2022” (Sakutaro Hagiwara’s complete works 2022) will be held at 52 locations nationwide, including literary museums, art museums and libraries.

The event was organized by Sakumi Hagiwara, who is the poet’s grandson and director of the Maebashi City Museum of Literature. Various materials, including Hagiwara’s signed manuscripts and photographs, will be shared among participating facilities.

Hagiwara was born in Maebashi but went to school in Kumamoto City and Okayama City. He interacted with poet Saisei Muro (1889-1962), writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) and other literary figures of his time. He also loved music and enjoyed playing the mandolin.

Museums and other facilities from Hokkaido to Kumamoto Prefecture will participate in the event. The various exhibitions will feature different themes, including one that follows Hagiwara’s life through music.

The executive committee for the event is chaired by Hisaki Matsuura, a poet and writer, who also heads the Society for the Study of Hagiwara Sakutaro. “Sakutaro Hagiwara absorbed knowledge of Western literature and combined it with the lyricism and beauty of ancient Japan to create his masterpieces,” Matsuura said. “I hope young people will read his works.”