|Died||May 4, 1983 47) (aged|
|Occupation||Poet, dramatist, writer, film director, photographer|
Shūji Terayama (寺山 修司, Terayama Shūji, December 10, 1935 – May 4, 1983) was an Japanese avant-garde poet, dramatist, writer, film director, and photographer. His works range from radio drama, experimental television, underground (Angura) theatre, countercultural essays, to Japanese New Wave and "expanded" cinema.
Many criticsview him as one of the most productive and provocative creative artists to come out of Japan. He has been cited as an influence on various Japanese filmmakers from the 1970s onward.
Terayama was born December 10, 1935, in Hirosaki, Aomori, the only son of Hachiro and Hatsu Terayama. His father died at the end of the 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. Terayama lived through the Aomori air raids that killed more than 30,000 people.
Terayama entered Aomori High School in 1951 and, in 1954, he enrolled in 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. By 18, he was the second winner of the Tanka Studies Award.[ citation needed ]
He married Tenjō Sajiki co-founder Kyōko Kujō (九條今日子) on April 2, 1963. Kujō later began an extramarital affair with fellow co-founder Yutaka Higashi. She and Terayama formally divorced in December 1970, although they continued to work together until Terayama's death on May 4, 1983 from cirrhosis of the liver. Kujō died on April 30, 2014.
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, Rally in the Streets! (書を捨てよ、町へ出よう).
In 1967, Terayama formed the Tenjō Sajiki theater troupe, 青ひげ), "Yes" (イエス), and "The Crime of Fatso Oyama" (大山デブコの犯罪). Also involved with the theater were artists Aquirax Uno and Tadanori Yokoo, who designed many of the advertisement posters for the group. Musically, he worked closely with experimental composer J.A. Seazer and folk musician Kan Mikami. Playwright Rio Kishida was also part of the company. She viewed Terayama as a mentor, and together they collaborated on Shintokumaru (Poison Boy), The Audience Seats, and Lemmings.whose name comes from the Japanese translation of the 1945 Marcel Carné film Les Enfants du Paradis and literally translates to "ceiling gallery" (with a meaning similar to the English term "peanut gallery"). The troupe was dedicated to the avant-garde and staged a number of controversial plays tackling social issues from an iconoclastic perspective in unconventional venues, such the streets of Tokyo or private homes. Some major plays include "Bluebeard" (
Terayama experimented with 'city plays', a fantastical satire of civic life.
Also in 1967, Terayama started an experimental cinema and gallery called 'Universal Gravitation,' which is still in existence at Misawa as a resource center. The Terayama Shūji Memorial Hall, which has a large collection of his plays, novels, poetry, photography and a great number of his personal effects and relics from his theatre productions, can also be found in Misawa.
In 1976, he was a member of the jury at the 26th Berlin International Film Festival.
Terayama published almost 200 literary works[ citation needed ] and over 20 short and full-length films.
In 1997, the Shuji Terayama Museum was opened in Misawa, Aomori, with personal items donated by his mother, Hatsu.The museum was designed by visual artist Kiyoshi Awazu, who had previously collaborated with Terayama. As of 2015, the museum's director is poet Eimei Sasaki, who had previously starred in Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets (1968).
Asahi Shimbun named an award after Terayama with the inauguration of their Asahi Performing Arts Awards in 2001."The Terayama Shūji Prize is meant to recognize artistic innovation by individuals or organizations who have demonstrated artistic innovation". However, the awards were suspended in 2008.
In March 2012, Tate Modern in London hosted a tribute to Terayama that was attended by Kyōko Kujō and Terayama's assistant director, Henrikku Morisaki.
His film oeuvre is well known for its experimentalism and includes:
Collected in: The Crimson Thread of Abandon
When I Was a Wolf (Boku ga ookami datta koro)
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