Endo Shusaku (遠藤 周作, March 27, 1923 - September 29, 1996) was a renowned 20th Century Japanese author who wrote from a unique perspective of being a Roman Catholic Japanese. His mother converted when he was a small child, and raised the young Endo as a Catholic.
His books reflect many of Endo's experiences as he was growing up. This includes the stigma of being an outsider, the experience of being a foreigner, the life of a hospital patient, and the struggle with tuberculosis. However, his books mainly deal with the moral fabric of life. His Roman Catholic faith can be seen at some level in all of his books, and it is often a central feature. Most of his characters struggle with complex moral dilemmas, and their choices often produce mixed or tragic results. In this his work is often compared to that of Graham Greene.
Endo's books have been translated into several languages. The following are among the more prominent of his many works:
The Sea and Poison: Set largely in a Fukuoka hospital,during World War 2, this novel is concerned with medical experiments carried out on prisoners of war. It is told from the point of view of one of the doctors coerced by his superiors into helping with the experiments. It is apparently based on a true incident.
Silence: A historical novel, telling the story of a missionary to Japan who becomes an apostate.
Scandal: Set in Tokyo, the book is about a novelist who finds himself caught up in the scandal of the title.