Alan Suemori
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

In 1935, Eiji Yoshikawa was a middle-aged journeyman writer who was still searching for his true voice as an artist. Born Hidetsugu Yoshikawa in 1892 in Kanagawa Prefecture, he left school at the age of 11 to help support his family after his samurai father’s attempt at business fell to pieces. After working on the docks of Yokohama, Yoshikawa escaped to Tökyö at age 18 where he lived a mundane existence during the day but dabbled in the city’s literary underworld at night. Lonely and homesick, Yoshikawa wandered into an informal poetry circle and began conjuring comic haiku under the pen name Kijiro as he struggled to survive in his new home.

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