Kafu Nagai 永井荷風
Kafu Nagai (1879–1959) was one of the first modern Japanese writers who, upon direct contact with the Western world, managed to create a literature that was rooted in Japanese tradition and at the same time marked by universality. He entered the Tokyo School of Foreign Languages but rarely attended classes and devoted himself to the study of traditional Japanese culture. From 1903 on he spent a few years in the United States and France, and wrote Amerika monogatari (American Stories). In 1910 he became a professor of literature at Keio University, where he founded and edited the literary journal Mita bungaku. Among his representative novels are Udekurabe (translated as Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale) and Bokuto kidan (Strange Tale from East of the River).