Osamu Dazai
Osamu Dazai
Osamu Dazai
Osamu Dazai

Osamu Dazai

Author Osamu Dazai (1909–48) retains an enormous following today. He is as famous for his darkly introspective novels as for the light-hearted children's stories that are a staple of many Japanese textbooks. His novel Shayo has been published in English as The Setting Sun.


Son of a wealthy family in northern Japan, Dazai was a top student who showed an early penchant for literary writing.He led a troubled, unstable life and suffered from drug abuse and alcoholism; he attempted suicide and had numerous affairs, even as his literary fame grew.


A Shameful Life is said to be a close approximation of his lifestyle and struggles. The protagonist in the novel survives, but shortly after publication of A Shameful Life, Dazai and his lover drowned themselves in the Tamagawa Canal in western Tokyo.


Titles by Author

A Shameful Life

A Shameful Life

by Osamu Dazai, translated by Mark Gibeau

A new translation of one of the greatest works of postwar Japanese literature, acutely capturing modern anxiety and alienation.

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