Hyakuzō Kurata (1891 - 1943)
Hyakuzō Kurata (倉田 百三 Kurata Hyakuzō?, 23 February 1891 – 12 February 1943) was a Japanese essayist and playwright on religious subjects who was active during the Taishō and early Shōwa periods of Japan. Kurata was born in what is now rural Shōbara city, Hiroshima Prefecture to a wealthy merchant family. He graduated from the No.1 High School in Tokyo and made his home in a cottage on the banks of Ueno Pond. He was highly influenced by the writings of Nishida Kitarō and his concepts of religious syncretism, travelling to Kyoto meet the philosopher in 1912. However, Kurata was forced to leave Tokyo in 1913 due to health reasons, as he was suffering from both lung and bone tuberculosis and venereal disease. After a period in a hospital in Hiroshima, he traveled extensively around the Inland Sea region of Japan. He also became interested in the writings of philosopher and cult-leader Nishida Tenko, who had created an agrarian commune based on a mixture of Daoism, Christianity, Buddhism, and pacifism, and whose teachings were attracting a wide following in the slum areas near Japan’s major cities.
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