Artists from the 1939 “Round-Table Discussion with Aomori-born Tokyo-based Artists”
To-o Nippo Press hosted a round-table discussion with Aomori-born artists based in Tokyo on September 20th 1939 at “Matsumotoro” restaurant near Hibiya Park in Tokyo. 31 artists connected with Aomori Prefecture, who were active in Tokyo at the time in various fields such as literature, art and dance, took part in this round-table discussion that was recorded by the magazine “Gekkan To-o” (*1). The lineup included preeminent artists, such as, Akita Ujaku, Munakata Shiko, and Dazai Osamu.
This round-table discussion is known for the tense back and forth between Munakata and Dazai that illustrated each of their idiosyncracies, as memorably depicted in “The Ogre has Come: A Biography of Munakata Shiko” (*2) by Osabe Hideo.
The discussion was hosted during the period of the height of the Second Sino-Japanese war, when World War two had already began in Europe. It is wondered what sorts of memories of home these Aomori-born Artists would talk about in a time when Japan was becoming more and more militaristic. Both the ideosyncracities and times rise to the surface in both the language and art of the participants of the “Round-Table Discussion with Aomori-born Tokyo-based Artists”.
(*1) Gekkan-To-o Volume 1 No.9 (Oct. 11, 1939) To-o Nippo Co. pp. 116-137.
(*2) “The Ogre has Come (Above) a Biography of Munakata Shiko" Bunngeishunjū 1979. Osabe recorded that Munakata Shiko said in a loud voice “I cant hear you, say it again louder” when he couldn’t make out Dazai Osamu Introducing himself. Responding to Munakata, Dazai shouted back, You’re too loud, shut up!”
AKITA Ujaku, EGUCHI Takaya, SHIMIZU(ISHIBASHI) Fuku, NAKANO Keiju, KON Yayo, DAZAI Osamu, ABE Gosei, KON Junzo, HASHIMOTO Hana, TOYA Banzan, NARUMI Kanzo, KOBAYASHI Kiyokichi, NARUMI Yokichi, AKEMOTO Kyosei, SEKINO Jun-ichiro, MUNAKATA Shiko, SUTO Naoyoshi, HAGA Masao, ITAGAKI Naoko, TAKEMORI Setsudo, KON Kanichi, TAZAWA Hakko