Shumon Miura, renowned novelist who also led the Cultural Affairs Agency, died of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital on Friday, his family said Saturday. He was 91.

Miura was known as one of the so-called Third Generation of postwar writers including Shusaku Endo and Junnosuke Yoshiyuki. The Third Generation is a classification in modern Japanese literature used to group writers who appeared on the literary scene between 1953 and 1955.

A native of Tokyo, Miura graduated from the University of Tokyo and authored books including "Hakoniwa" ("Box Garden") and "Gisei" ("Sacrifice").

Miura married Ayako Sono, also a renowned novelist, in 1953 and was later baptized. He was known for his writing on religious themes including Catholicism and co-authored many books with Sono, who was also a devoted Catholic.

Miura became a professor at Nihon University in 1967 and served as the chief of the Cultural Affairs Agency between 1985 and 1986.

In 1999, Miura received a government honor recognizing his outstanding cultural achievements and became the Japanese head of the Japan-Korea cultural exchange council.

He also headed the Japan Art Academy for 10 years from 2004.