This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of novelist Junichiro Tanizaki, whose best works were published in the 1930s and 40s. Tanizaki was Japan’s most accomplished writer about sex, and much of what he wrote was based on experience.

This week, the documentary series “Rekishi Hiwa Historia” (“History Untold Historia”; NHK-G, Wed., 10 p.m.) looks at Tanizaki’s scandalous love life and how it affected his work. Much of the material is based on letters that have never been made public before, and which chronicle affairs that are shocking even by today’s standards. He was in love with his sister-in-law and carried on a long liaison with the wife of a powerful merchant. The program tries to describe his “ideal woman,” not to mention his philosophy about the relationship between sexual attraction and beauty.

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