前川さみお

 

 Maekawa Samio was born in the Oshimi Village in Nara Prefecture in 1903.  His family was a big land owner for generations, engaging in agriculture and forestry.

He entered Oshimi Jinjyo Elementary School in 1909.  He liked drawing from his childhood.  When he was in 6th grade,

he made a tanka (a short poem) for the first time.  After entering in Tokyo University as a literature major in 1922, he seriously started to write tanka poems.  He became a member of Chikuhakukai that was hosted by Sasaki Nobutsuna. He started to get acquainted with Kinoshita Rigen and Arai Sen.  In 1926, after the fall of Maeda family, Samio left his hometown and moved to Nara City, where his mother’s home was.

Samio was suspicious about the tendencies of the contemporary poetry world. He criticized the realism and insisted that he was a an avant gardist and surrealist.  In 1930,  he published his first collection of poems called Shokubutsu-Sai. This book became very sensational in poetry world and was his first step as a modernist poet. This is one of his poem in this book:

With birds and animals following me, 

I would like to go downtown under the Autumn sun

In 1934, he published the first Nihonkajin, a journal of poetry. Famous Japanese authors  such as Kobayashi Hideo, Horiuchi Daigaku and Nakahara Chuya have posted their poems in this journal.

From 1954 to 1988,  he was an editor of poems for the Asahi Newspaper.  In 1972, he won the 6th "Shakuchoku Prize”

with ”Shiraki Kuroki”, collection of his poems.  He became an Honorary Citizen of Shinjyocho Town in 1986.  He also was honored to be a member of the Japan Art Academy in 1989.