Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Just wanted to give a quick happy birthday shout-out to one of my all-time favorite authors, Mr. Edogawa Rampo. October 21 marks his 115th birthday, and with the recent Japanese releases of Suehiro Maruo's manga adaptations of The Strange Tale of Panorama Island and Caterpillar, Rampo continues to be relevant and prevalent in Japanese popular culture.

Here was my tribute post last year, with a photo of his grave (marked with his birth name, Hirai Taro).

As it's already 10/21 in Japan, Google has marked the godfather of Japanese mystery fiction's birthday with a commemorative doodle:

I actually have that exact book (少年探偵団 - Shounen Tanteidan, Youth Detective Squad) sitting on my desk in front of me. I've been reading it slowly to try to get steeped in Rampology this month as I get back to work on Panorama Island.

Which was also made into a Japanese TV show:

With accompanying toys:

UPDATE: Same Hat friend Ho-Ling has just posted his translation of Edogawa Rampo's One Person, Two Identities. Check it out right here.


Unknown said...

Thanx a lot for this post!!!!!

Totally looking forward to Panorama Island!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ho-Ling said...

I've also lately been busy with Edogawa's works, as I'll need to hand in a book report in a couple of months as a set-up for a research paper. And I enjoy every bit of it.

Except for the kanji.

The Shounen Tantei Dan stories are quite enjoyable (and easy to read!), very much like the detective-adventure stories of Arsene Lupin. The importance of the STD stories are probably best seen in detective manga, with characters as Edogawa (!) Conan and Kindaichi Hajime being the offspring of Kobayashi Shounen.

And the STD/BD7 opening should be mentioned (Though the Animetal cover is even more awesome). BD7 wa Shounen Tantei Da~n!


Unknown said...

@vioxxfact: Thanks! Rampo is the king!!!

@Ho-Ling: I'm an idiot and should have posted about your recent translation of One Person, Two Identifies. In fact, I will update the post right now. I have told you before (I hope) but I absolutely love your blog :)

Good luck with your work and research! I totally suck now (mental acuity is gone!), but back in college I did a translation project of Rampo's Death of a Sleepwalker. I was never quite satisfied with my work, but yeah... the kanji was a muthafucker! I am super impressed that you're doing lots of work on Rampo and his works.

I just remembered, there was a academic conference earlier this month in Philadelphia about Edgar Allan Poe, and one of the panel/sessions was about Poe & Rampo. Here were the presentations:
Session 5G: Poe and Rampo (Riverview C)
Chair: Takayuki Tatsumi, Keio University
1. Seth Jacobowitz, San Francisco State University, “From Grotesque and the Arabesque to Erotic Grotesque: Literary Patterns in Poe and Rampo”
2. Mark Silver, Middlebury College, “Poe's Landscape Reconfigured: Cultural Borrowing and Technological Fantasy in Edogawa Rampo's ‘Strange Tale of Panorama Island’”
3. William O. Gardner, Swarthmore College, “Brush, Lens, and Screen: Visionary Media in Edgar Allan Poe and Edogawa Rampo”

Awesome, huh?

Thanks for the youtube clip link!

Unknown said...

@Ho-Ling: I was just reading about Professor Mark Silver's research... have you read this book from University of Hawaii Press? I'm thinking of ordering it later this week:

Ho-Ling said...

@Ryan: Thanks for the plug & comment on my blog!

That conference seems to have been very interesting, especially as I have read research on Rampo by most of those people. And regarding Silver's book, it's really interesting. It discusses Kuroiwa's 'translations', which were a great influence on Rampo and then goes via Okamoto's Hanshichi Torimonochou stories (available in translation!) to Rampo's work and works well in conjunction with for example Kawana's Murder Most Modern. I's one of those books I deemed important enough to take all the way to Japan.

Unknown said...

@Ho-Ling: Thanks for the reply! I will definitely pick up that book now, based on your recommendation. The specifics of the stuff you mentioned is stuff I don't really know much about so I'm stoked to school myself on the subject!

Going to read your email now :)