One of Japanese’s most famous poets was originally from the Yamaguchi Prefecture - Nakahara Chūya. Nakahara Chūya, born in 1907 in Yamaguchi City, started off his poetry career in elementary school when his younger brother passed away in 1915. He submitted his first works to a local newspaper in 1920. His works from the beginning are written in the tanka style but he found inspiration in Dadaist Takahashi Shinkichi’s poetry. When he worked in publishing a poetry journal called Hakuchigun, he was introduced to French symbolist poets such as Arthur Rimbaud. These influences helped develop Nakahara Chūya’s style: haiku or tanka format but changed the format to make it sound more rhythmical and musical. A lot of his later poems are about his daughter who died young during infancy. Nakahara Chūya died at the age of 30 from cerebral meningitis.
The Nakahara Chūya Memorial Museum was established February 18, 1994 in Yuda Onsen of Yamaguchi City. His original house was burned down in 1972 leaving only the teahouse and the cellar but the museum was built over the leftover ruins of his house. The museum displays various goods and works of Nakahara Chūya’s. Many of his works are also now in English so do read into it and find your favorite Nakahara Chūya poem!