Osamu Dazai Quotes
“People talk of “social outcasts.” The words apparently denote the miserable losers of the world, the vicious ones, but I feel as though I have been a “social outcast” from the moment I was born. If ever I meet someone society has designated as an outcast, I invariably feel affection for him, an emotion which carries me away in melting tenderness.”
“I have always shook with fright before human beings. Unable as I was to feel the least particle of confidence in my ability to speak and act like a human being, I kept my solitary agonies locked in my breast. I kept my melancholy and my agitation hidden, careful lest any trace should be left exposed. I feigned an innocent optimism; I gradually perfected myself in the role of the farcical eccentric.”
“I thought, “I want to die. I want to die more than ever before. There’s no chance now of a recovery. No matter what sort of thing I do, no matter what I do, it’s sure to be a failure, just a final coating applied to my shame. That dream of going on bicycles to see a waterfall framed in summer leaves—it was not for the likes of me. All that can happen now is that one foul, humiliating sin will be piled on another, and my sufferings will become only the more acute. I want to die. I must die. Living itself is the source of sin.”
“Unhappiness. There are all kinds of unhappy people in the world. I suppose it would be no exaggeration to say that the world is composed entirely of unhappy people. But those people can fight their unhappiness with society fairly and squarly, and society for its part easily understands and sympathizes with such struggles. My unhappiness stemmed entirely from my own vices, and I had no way of fighting anybody.”
“To wait. In our lives we know joy, anger, sorrow, and a hundred other emotions, but these emotions all together occupy a bare one percent of our time. The remaining ninety-nine percent is just living in waiting. I wait in momentary expectation, feeling as though my breasts are being crushed, for the sound in the corridor of the footsteps of happiness. Empty. Oh, life is too painful, the reality that confirms the universal belief that it is best not to be born.”
“What, I wondered, did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings? Where was the substance of this thing called “society”? I had spent my whole life thinkng that society must certainly be something powerful, harsh and severe, but to hear Horiki talk made the words “Don’t you mean yourself?” come to the tip of my tongue. But I held the words back, reluctant to anger him.
‘Society won’t stand for it.’
‘It’s not society. You’re the one who won’t stand for it - right?’
‘If you do such a thing society will make you suffer for it’
‘It’s not society. It’s you, isn’t it?’
‘Before you know it, you’ll be ostracized by society.’
‘It’s not society. You’re going to do the ostracizing, aren’t you?’
Words, words of every kind went flitting through my head. “Know thy particular fearsomeness, thy knavery, cunning and witchcraft!” What I said, however, as I wiped the perspiration from my face with a handkerchief was merely, “You’ve put me in a cold sweat!” I smiled.
From then on, however, I came to hold, almost as a philosophical conviction, the belief: What is society but an individual?”
“When I pretended to be precocious, people started the rumor that I was precocious. When I acted like an idler, rumor had it I was an idler. When I pretended I couldn't write a novel, people said I couldn't write. When I acted like a liar, they called me a liar. When I acted like a rich man, they started the rumor I was rich. When I feigned indifference, they classed me as the indifferent type. But when I inadvertently groaned because I was really in pain, they started the rumor that I was faking suffering. The world is out of joint.”
- Date of birth: June 19, 1909
- Died: June 13, 1948
- Born: in Tsugaru /Kanagi, Japan.
- Description: Osamu DAZAI (太宰 治, real name Shūji TSUSHIMA) was a Japanese author who is considered one of the foremost fiction writers of 20th-century Japan. A number of his most popular works, such as Shayō (The Setting Sun) and Ningen Shikkaku (No Longer Human), are considered modern-day classics in Japan.With a semi-autobiographical style and transparency into his personal life, Dazai’s stories have intrigued the minds of many readers. His books also bring about awareness to a number of important topics such as human nature, mental illness, social relationships, and postwar Japan.