Miki Rofu, given name Misao, was a poet famous for children’s songs and symbolist verse. At an early age he contributed tanka and haiku to magazines and newspapers and published his first anthology at 17. He published his most famous work, Haien (Abandoned Garden, 1909), at age 20 and is widely considered a genius of the same level as Kitahara Hakushu. He attended both Waseda and Keio universities and joined Suzuki Miekichi (1882–1936) in the Akai Tori (Red Bird) movement where he became involved in children’s song writing. He taught literature in Hokkaido from 1916 to 1924 and was baptized there into the Catholic church. Thereafter, he wrote religious poems and published an essay titled “Nihon katorikku kyoshi” (A History of the Catholic Church in Japan, 1929) and was later declared a saint by the Vatican. He died after complications from being hit by a car.

Historical dictionary of modern Japanese literature and theater. . 2009.

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