Ton Satomi
File:Satomi Ton.jpg
Ton Satomi
Born (1888-07-14)14 July 1888
Yokohama, Japan
Died 21 January 1983(1983-01-21) (aged 94)
Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Occupation Writer
Genres Novels, short stories
Literary movement Shirakaba

Script error
In this Japanese name, the family name is Satomi.

Ton Satomi (里見 弴 Satomi Ton?, 14 July 1888 - 21 January 1983) is the pen-name for a Japanese author known for the craftsmanship of his dialogue and command of the Japanese language. His two elder brothers, Ikuma Arishima (有島生馬) and Takeo Arishima (有島 武郎), were also authors. His real name was Hideo Yamanouchi.

Early life

Satomi Ton was born in Yokohama into the wealthy Arishima family, but was later legally adopted by his mother's family, thus inheriting their surname of Yamanouchi. He was educated at the Gakushuin Peers' School, where he became interested in literature, and briefly attended Tokyo Imperial University, but left in 1910 without graduating.

Literary career

Through his brother Ikuma Arishima, he became acquainted with other alumni authors from Gakushuin, including Naoya Shiga and Saneatsu Mushanokōji. They formed a group named after their literary magazine Shirakaba ("White Birch"), which was first published in 1911. Satomi became a disciple of Kyōka Izumi after his works came to the attention of the older novelist.

Satomi strove to remain aloof from any particular literary clique or political school throughout his career. He was a prolific author known for his autobiographical works and promotion of purely literary values. In the West he is largely known for Tsubaki ("Camellia"), a disturbing short story written after the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923, which came a few months after the suicide of his brother Takeo Arishima.

In 1959, Satomi received the Order of Culture from the Japanese government.

He lived in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture from 1924 until his death, and often socialized with the other literati residing in that city. With the establishment of the Shochiku movie studios in Ofuna, north of Kamakura, he also collaborated with film director Yasujirō Ozu on numerous movie scripts.

His grave is located at the Kamakura Reien Public Cemetery.


Satomi claimed that he decided on his pen-name by picking out names at random from a telephone directory.

Major works

  • Zen Shin Aku Shin ("Good Heart Evil Heart")
  • Tajo Busshin ("The Compassion of Buddha", 1922-1923)
  • Anjo Ke no Kyodai ("The Anjo Brothers")
  • Gokuraku Tombo ("A Carefree Fellow", 1961)

See also

External links


  • Flowler, Edward. The Rhetoric of Confession: Shishosetsu in Early Twentieth-Century Japanese Fiction. University of California Press (1992). ISBN 0520078837
  • Keene, Donald. Dawn to the West. Columbia University Press; 2nd Rev Ed edition (1998). ISBN 0231114354
  • Morris,Ivan. Modern Japanese Stories: An Anthology. Tuttle Publishing (2005). ISBN 0804833362it:Satomi Ton
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