Kori Torahiko and Edith Craig: A Japanese Playwright in London and Toronto


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Before Kori Torahiko (1890-1924) left for Europe in 1913, he was already well known among the literary circles of Japan as a precocious young talent who had made a sensational debut at the age of twenty. While for several decades after his premature death Kori's reputation was in eclipse, he has recently begun to regain high critical esteem as Japan's first international writer. That his name is remembered in the West is a testament to two remarkable English women artists of his day: Hester M. Sainsbury (1890-1967) and Edith Craig (1869-1947). Sainsbury was a poet-artist who later married the architect-painter Frederick Etchells, one of the original members of Vorticism and its journal Blast, founded by Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis.1 Edith Craig, the daughter of Ellen Terry and Edward William Godwin and the sister of Gordon Craig, was a theater director. Kori was only thirty-four when he died at the height of his career in a sanitarium in Switzerland in October 1924. At his death-bed were his lover Hester Sainsbury and her father, Dr. Harrington Sainsbury, famous physician and one-time private doctor to Queen Victoria.2 In a sojourn of less than eleven years in Europe, Kori had made a significant contribution toward bridging the gap between the theaters of East and West in the early twentieth century.

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