was a novelist of the Buraiha
genre in Showa period Japan
. His name was also pronounced "Tanaka Eiko" on occasion.
Tanaka was born in the uptown Akasaka
district of Tokyo
, and was a graduate of Waseda University
. While still a student, he was influenced by his newspaper journalist brother towards a literary career, and towards membership in the Japan Communist Party
. However, he was discouraged by the corruption of the senior leadership of the party, and left before graduation. Shortly after graduation, he met Dazai Osamu
, who became his mentor.
Tanaka was also a member of the Japanese Olympic team to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, where he participated as a rower. This experience led to two novels: Orimpose no kajitsu (1940) and Tantei soshu (1944).
In 1935, he was hired by the Yokohama Rubber Company and was sent to Keijo in Korea, where he lived until 1944.
After World War II, Tanaka re-joined the Japan Communist Party, but was so critical of its leadership that he was later expelled. He was great shocked by the suicide of his mentor Daizai Osamu. In his later years, he suffered from alcoholism, drug abuse and mental instability. He committed suicide at the grave of Dazai Osamu in 1949. His grave is at the Aoyama Reien in Tokyo.
His works include: