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Friday, July 6, 2012

Meiji Era writer Ogai Mori's zoo article turns up


An unfinished article by the late Ogai Mori, a famous Meiji Era novelist and former director general of the Imperial Household Museum, was recently discovered by workers at the Tokyo National Museum, as the institute is now known.

News photo
Hidden treasure: This article draft by novelist Ogai Mori (below) was recently found in the Tokyo National Museum. KYODO
News photo

In the paper, Mori, who died in 1922 at age 60, states his opposition to a plan to transfer the management of Ueno Zoo from the Imperial family to the central government. The museum is situated in Taito Ward, which hosts the zoo.

The article does not bear Mori's signature but researchers determined he is the author by comparing his diary and the content. It is thought to date from 1920 and to have long been stored at the museum.

The article will be put on display from July 18 in an exhibition commemorating the museum's 140th anniversary.

"(Mori) is famous both as a writer and for his time as an Imperial army doctor, but there are few studies about him as head of the museum," said its research section chief, Satoshi Tarashima.

"(In the article) he structured his argument using details of certain legal concepts. This shows he had deep and extensive knowledge" of legal matters.

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