“ Essay on Dante ” (Dante ni tsuite) was written by Hakuchô Masamune in February, 1927 (in the Chuô Kôron or “Central Review”) and Hakuchô’s view of Dante is contained in this essay.
He had deep interest in Dante’s “ Divine Comedy ” since he heard a lecture “ Dante and Göeth” by Kanzo Uchimura. Then he read Cary’s translation “ Vision of Dante ” in his school days.
When he was twenty-seven years old，he wrote an essay “ On Dante ” in a magazine for schoolboys named Chûgaku Sekai. This essay was a prototype of his “ Essay on Dante ” of 1927.
Between these two essays, from 1905 to 1927, he had literary evolution. He had been called a writer of naturalism, but his literary thought is romantic rather than naturalistic.
Always his literary technique is realistic, but his fancy is sort of eschatological. Because, his deep concern is in Revelation, the last chapter of the Bible.
Thus he read “ Divine Comedy ”, as eschatology, too.
According to his view of life, our life is one of the human dramas pointing to Revelation.
There are two sources of his literary spirits, the last judgement of God’s will and the human drama.
The former became his realistic novel and the latter his fantastic literary thought.