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At first glance a courteous lady-killer, his true identity is an extreme pervert seeking the ultimate ideal of masochism. He holds an aspiration to be stepped on by a woman's beautiful legs. His motto is to live with his innermost desires proudly on display. On the other hand, he is extraordinarily earnest about literature, and is presently enraged by the Taints who are polluting it. He would like to be reincarnated as a shoe that women wear.


  • His education almost stopped in elementary school, but due to his teacher's persuasion, he managed to continue his education in Tokyo Middle High School by working as a shosei, a combination of houseboy and tutor, of a wealthy family. He was expelled from the household in 1907 due to his love letter addressed to a maid being intercepted, which made him accused of having an affair.
  • He enrolled into Tokyo Imperial University in 1908, where he majored on Japanese literature, but had to drop out in 1911 because he was unable to pay his tuitions.
  • He considered Nagai Kafuu as an 'artistic kinsman' and idolized him, to the point when he first saw him in person, he was so flustered that he ended up being drunk and catcalled Kafuu, who reacted with annoyance. They would later meet again in 1910, in which Tanizaki gave Kafuu a copy of Shinshichou with his story, "The Tattooer", in it. A year later, Kafuu wrote a glowing review about the story, which shot Tanizaki's reputation up.
  • He was something of a marked man in terms of government censorship. His works had been banned four times in 1916 alone.
  • He first met his third wife, Nezu Matsuko, from an arranged meeting by Matsuko's acquaintance with Akutagawa Ryuunosuke during the latter's trip to Osaka in 1927. Matsuko, a fan of Akutagawa's works, found him and Akutagawa discussing about the nature of fiction when she arrived for the meeting. They would soon call Akutagawa their "matchmaking deity".
  • His famous debate against Akutagawa Ryuunosuke regarding a novel's plot started when Akutagawa initially criticized his casual statement on a magazine regarding his preference towards stories with complicated plots. During the debate, he stressed about the importance of architectural beauty and questioned about poetic lyricism that Akutagawa argued.
  • Some of his works suffered from wartime censorships, such as "The Tale of Genji" and "The Makioka Sisters", in which the latter was halted from publication after the few first chapters were released in 1943, and could only be fully published in 1948.
  • Some of his works are characterized by eroticism, fetishism(mainly foot), and the femme-fatale figure, as well as sadomasochism, female domination, and sometimes mother complex. His early works are notable for its Western themes, but after the Great Earthquake in 1923, he would soon turn into classical traditions instead.
  • More than 20 of his works has been filmed, some by famous directors such as Ichikawa Kon and Mizoguchi Kenji. However, he dislikes all of the film renditions shown during his lifetime.
  • He admitted once that he isn't interested in writing or reading unless it presents fabrications.
  • He was uninterested in men, and had not made a single male friend during his years in Kyoto since the war. However, his face would light up whenever a woman appeared.
  • When he moved from Kyoto to Atami, he arranged that everyday a seat in the express train Hato would be reserved for his food, where someone would bring them from Kyoto and another person retrieve them in Atami.
  • He was an ailurophile and had 3 cats. He once stated that he would like a leopard as a pet, but he couldn't keep it so he kept cats instead.
  • He was the first Japanese author to be inducted as a honorary member into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Humanities in 1964.
  • He was consistently nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature from 1958 to 1965(except for 1959), and made it to the final shortlist in 1960 and 1964.
  • He died at age 79 due to heart and renal failure.