Jun'ichirō Tanizaki (24 July 1886 – 30 July 1965) was one of the major writers of modern Japanese literature, and perhaps the most popular Japanese novelist after Natsume Sōseki. Some of his works present a shocking world of sexuality and destructive erotic obsessions. Others, less sensational, subtly portray the dynamics of family life in the context of the rapid changes in 20th-century Japanese society. Frequently his stories are narrated in the context of a search for cultural identity in which constructions of "the West" and "Japanese tradition" are juxtaposed.
He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Tanizaki was born into a well-off merchant class family in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, where his uncle owned a printing press, which had been established by his grandfather. Tanizaki described his admittedly pampered childhood in his Yōshō Jidai (Childhood Years, 1956). His childhood home was destroyed in the 1894 Meiji Tokyo earthquake, to which Tanizaki later attributed his lifelong fear of earthquakes. His family's finances declined dramatically as he grew older until he was forced to reside in another household as a tutor...
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