Shūji Terayama biography

Shūji Terayama

Playwright, Film director

1935 – 1983

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Who was Shūji Terayama?

Shūji Terayama was an avant-garde Japanese poet, dramatist, writer, film director, and photographer. According to many critics and supporters, he was one of the most productive and provocative creative artists to come out of Japan. He was born December 10, 1935, the only son of Hachiro and Hatsu Terayama in Hirosaki city in the northern Japanese prefecture of Aomori. His father died at the end of Pacific War in Indonesia in September 1945. When Terayama was nine, his mother moved to Kyūshū to work at an American military base, while he himself went to live with relatives in the city of Misawa, also in Aomori. At this same time, Terayama lived through the Aomori air raids that killed more than 30,000 people.

Terayama entered Aomori Prefectural Aomori High School in 1951, and in 1954 went to prestigious Waseda University's Faculty of Education to study Japanese language and literature. However, he soon dropped out because he fell ill with nephrotic syndrome. He received his education through working in bars in Shinjuku. His oeuvre includes a number of essays claiming that more can be learned about life through boxing and horse racing than by attending school and studying hard. Accordingly, he was one of the central figures of the "runaway" movement in Japan in the late 1960s, as depicted in his book, play, and film "Throw Away Your Books, Run into the Streets!".

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Born
Dec 10, 1935
Hirosaki
Also known as
  • Shuuji Terayama
  • Terayama Shūji
Parents
Spouses
Nationality
  • Japan
Profession
Education
  • Waseda University
Lived in
  • Aomori Prefecture
Died
May 4, 1983
Suginami

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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