Endo, Shusaku

Endo, Shusaku shəsäˈko͝o ĕnˈdō [key], 1923–1996, one of the finest 20th-century Japanese novelists, b. Tokyo. Baptized a Roman Catholic at 11, he is often compared to Graham Greene for his deep concern with religion and moral behavior. Endo studied French literature at the Univ. of Lyon from 1950 to 1953, when he returned to Japan and began publishing novels and stories. Sometimes dealing with the historical past and sometimes with the modern world, his complex fiction usually revolves about a series of contrasts: East and West, faith and faithlessness, tradition and modernity. Silence (1966, tr. 1969), which concerns the 17th-century martyrdom of a young Portuguese missionary in Japan, is among his best-known novels and is perhaps his most outstanding one. Among the prolific author's other novels are The Sea and Poison (1958, tr. 1972), Wonderful Fool (1959, tr. 1974), The Samurai (1980, tr. 1982), Scandal (1986, tr. 1988), and Deep River (1993, tr. 1994). Endo's translated short-story collections include Stained Glass Elegies (1985) and the posthumously published Five by Endo (2000). He also wrote studies of Jesus, essays, plays, and screenplays. A museum devoted to Endo's life and work, which was established in 1999, is located in Sotome, Japan.

See study by M. B. Williams (1999).

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