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1885 - 1942

Hakushu, as he was usually known, was born in present-day city of Yanagawa, Fukuoka prefecture in 1885. In 1904 he entered Waseda University, where he became acquainted with Wakayama Bokusui and others, but he left university soon after. He joined the Shinshisha (New Poetry Society) in 1906 and the Pan no Kai (The Pan Society), a well-known group of writers and artists, in 1908. He published his first book of poems, Jashumon [Heritics], in 1909 and his second, Omoide [Recollections] in 1910. In 1913, his collection of tanka poems, Kiri no hana [Pawlonia Blossoms] was published. In 1918, he joined the Akai tori [Red Bird] magazine at the request of founder Suzuki Miekichi, and was assigned to create children's songs, take charge of screening the poems submitted to the magazine, and collect nursery rhymes from various parts of the country. In 1919 he published Tonbo no medama [Dragonfly's Eyes], a collection of lyrics for children he had previously published serially in Akai tori. In 1921 Maza gusu [Mother Goose], a collection of his translations of the English classic, came out, and that year, Usagi no denpo [Rabbit Telegrams], a collection of his nursery rhymes, was published. Starting with its April 1922 issue, Kodomo no kuni [Children's Land] invited readers to submit children's songs, and Hakushu took charge of the screening and comments. At first his name was not mentioned, but from the October issue they were signed by Hakushu. In 1925 he published Kodomo no mura [Children's Village], a collection of nursery songs. Starting with its September 1926 issue, Kodomo no kuni [Children's Land] invited nursery songs by adults, putting Hakushu in charge of their screening. This column continued through 59 issues until the October 1931 issue, and was restarted with the July 1933 issue with Hakushu and Saijo Yaso in charge. In 1929 he published a collection of essays on children's songs, Midori no shokkaku [The Feel of Green]. He became ill and died in 1942. The Nihon Densho Doyo Shusei [Collection of Traditional Japanese Nursery Rhymes], a six-volume publication edited by Hakushu, finally came out in 1976.