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State of Mind
Somewhat Stable
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He seems calm on the outside, but on the contrary, he is a fastidious germophobe. He perpetually wears immaculate gloves, refusing to touch anything with his bare hands. Even with regards to food, it seems he must reheat food before eating it even after it has already been cooked. He has promised undying devotion to his master Ozaki Kouyou, and will not forgive anyone who criticizes him. His hobby is collecting rabbit goods.


  • His real name is Izumi Kyoutarou.
  • Kyouka's father had wanted his son to follow his footsteps as a metal craftsman. He brought home sheets of tracing paper for Kyouka to practice for this future career. However, he discovered that what Kyouka was fascinated with was not traditional images on metal craftswork, but certain pictures in his mother's personal diary. According to Kyouka's brother Toyoharu, Kyouka's favorite image was "of a pitiful young woman, tied to a tree and beaten".
  • Kyouka was generally interested in portraying only one type of woman. Reflecting his yearning for his dead mother, the women in his stories are doubly complicated, alluring and maternal yet subjected to violence and death. They are beautiful and tempting, yet pitifully oppressed while being divinely powerful. What Kyouka sought to portray was an ideal that the living would never reach.
  • On the contrary, he resented the Meiji patriarchy, decried the inequalities of marriage that make life miserable for women, and spoke out against militarism and war.
  • Though he despised the system and was especially contemptuous of businessmen who had wealth but no taste, he reserved great respect for the imperial family. It is said Kyouka would always remove his glasses, take off his hat, close his eyes, and utter a silent prayer whenever he passed by the Imperial Palace, whether in a train or bus.
  • His first work, Crowning Yazaemon was so poorly received that Iwaya Sazanami, the editor of the magazine it was printed on and a friend of Ozaki Kouyou's, received multiple disappointed letters asking for the story to be discontinued. He asked Kouyou to change to another writer, but Kouyou refused because it would be a crushing blow to Kyouka.
  • The Holy Man of Mount Kouya, his best work, is often said to be his most understandable. His later works are remarkably more difficult to follow because of their fractured structure and vague motivations and expressions.
  • The greatest instabilities of Kyouka's life were tied to the deaths of people close to him. His father's death in 1894 and subsequent financial burden drove him to consider suicide. His mother's death in 1906 arguably shaped his literary career. His grandmother's death later on shook him greatly. "I couldn't tell day from night," he wrote later on. "I never slept well, nor did I ever feel that I was wide awake. I had only the vaguest notion of who I was." However, it was during this time that he wrote some of his finest works, including One Day in Spring and The Grass Labyrinth.
  • He fell in love with a geisha and intended to marry her, but his mentor Kouyou was vehemently against it and asked him to break relations with her. Out of respect, he did not marry her until Kouyou had died. This later became the inspiration for his story A Woman's Pedigree.
  • He, Tokuda Shuusei, Yanagawa Shunyo & Oguri Fuyo were called the Shitenno (Four Heavenly Kings).
  • He died at age 65 due to lung cancer.