Yagi Jukichi

(1898-1927 / Japan)

Biography of Yagi Jukichi

Jūkichi Yagi (February 9, 1898 - October 26, 1927) was a Japanese poet on modern religious themes, active in late Taishō and for the first few years of Shōwa period Japan.

Born in Tokyo, Yagi attended the Kanagawa Prefectural Normal School in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture, where he converted to Methodism, and became attracted to the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore. In 1919, he was baptized at the Komagome Christian Church in Tokyo. He remained a devout Protestant all his short life, but migrated to Non-Church Christianity (Mukyōkai) as advocated by Uchimura Kanzō.

After graduation, Yagi taught at the Mikage Normal School in Hyōgo Prefecture, and he began to write verse as an expression of his faith. He published his first collection of poems Aki no Hitome ("Autumn Eye") in 1925. Although Yagi contributed several pieces to poetry magazines, he remained shy of literary circles.

Hospitalized with tuberculosis in 1926, he died on October 26, 1927. It was only after his death and the publication of Mazushiki Shinto ("Humble Believer"), Yagi Jukichi Shishu ("Yagi Jukichi Anthology"), and Kami O Yobu ("Talk to God") that he gained widespread recognition.

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