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Authors M-P > Seicho Matsumoto

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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments Novels
Saigō's Currency (ja:西郷札,Saigō satsu,1951)
The Legend of the Kokura-Diary (ja:或る「小倉日記」伝,Aru 'Kokura-nikki' den,1952)
The Face (ja:顔,Kao,1955)
The Voice (ja:声,Koe,1955)
The Chase (ja:張込み,Harikomi,1955)
The Woman who Took the Local Paper (ja:地方紙を買う女,Tihōshi wo Kau Onna,1957)
Wait One and a Half Years (ja:一年半待て,Itinenhan Mate,1957)
Points and Lines (ja:点と線,Ten to Sen,1958)
Walls of Eyes (ja:眼の壁,Me no Kabe,1958)
The Demon (ja:鬼畜,Kitiku,1958)
Amagi-Pass (ja:天城越え,Amagi Goe,1958)
Zero Focus (ja:ゼロの焦点,Zero no Shōten,1959)
Tower of Wave (ja:波の塔,Nami no Tou,1960)
Pro Bono (ja:霧の旗,Kiri no Hata,1961)
Inspector Imanishi Investigates (ja:砂の器,Suna no Utsuwa,1961),Published in English (Soho Crime press 2003),ISBN 978-1-56947-019-0
Bad Sorts (ja:わるいやつら,Warui Yatsura,1961)
Black Gospel (ja:黒い福音,Kuroi Fukuin,1961)
The Globular Wilderness (ja:球形の荒野,Kyūkei no Kōya,1962)
Manners and Customs at time (ja:時間の習俗,Jikan no Shūzoku,1962)
Beast Alley (ja:けものみち,Kemono-Miti,1964)
The Complex of D (ja:Dの複合,D no Fukugō,1968)
Central Saru (ja:中央流沙,Chūō Ryūsa,1968)
The Finger (ja:指,Yubi,1969)
Far Approach (ja:遠い接近,Tōi Sekkin,1972)
Fire Street between Ancient Persia and Japan (ja:火の路,Hi no Miti,1975)
Castle of Glass (ja:ガラスの城,Garasu no Shiro,1976)
The Passed Scene (ja:渡された場面,Watasareta Bamen,1976)
Vortex (ja:渦,Uzu,1977)
A Talented Female Painter (ja:天才画の女,Tensaiga no Onna,1979)
Pocketbook of Black Leather (ja:黒革の手帖,Kurokawa no Techō,1980)
The Magician in Nara Period (ja:眩人,Genjin,1980)
Stairs that shine at Night (ja:夜光の階段,Yakou no Kaidan,1981)
Suspicion (ja:疑惑,Giwaku,1982)
Street of Desire (ja:彩り河,Irodorigawa,1983)
Straying Map (ja:迷走地図,Meisou Tizu,1983)
Hot Silk (ja:熱い絹,Atsui Kinu,1985)
Array of Sage and Beast (ja:聖獣配列,Seijū Hairetsu,1986)
Foggy Conference (ja:霧の会議,Kiri no Kaigi,1987)
Black Sky (ja:黒い空,Kuroi Sora,1988)
Red Glacial Epoch (ja:赤い氷河期,Akai Hyōgaki,1989)
Madness of gods (ja:神々の乱心,Kamigami no Ranshin,1997)

message 2: by Jessica (last edited Sep 29, 2012 03:59PM) (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments I love this author. Unfortunately, from what I can find, few of the above novels have been translated into English. I've read 4 (although 'The Voice' is really a collection of stories). 'Pro Bono' was recently translated and 'Inspector Imanishi Investigates' is a wonderful read. I recommend him!

message 3: by Jessica (last edited Sep 29, 2012 08:56AM) (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments from Wikipedia:
Seichō Matsumoto (松本 清張 Matsumoto Seichō), (December 21, 1909 – August 4, 1992) was a Japanese writer.
Seichō's works created a new tradition of Japanese crime fiction. Dispensing with formulaic plot devices such as puzzles, Seichō incorporated elements of human psychology and ordinary life. In particular, his works often reflect a wider social context and postwar nihilism that expanded the scope and further darkened the atmosphere of the genre. His exposé of corruption among police officials as well as criminals was a new addition to the field. The subject of investigation was not just the crime but also the society in which the crime was committed.
The self-educated Seichō did not see his first book in print until he was in his forties. He was a prolific author, he wrote until his death in 1992, producing in four decades more than 450 works. Seichō's mystery and detective fiction solidified his reputation as a writer at home and abroad. He wrote historical novels and nonfiction in addition to mystery/detective fiction.
He was awarded the Akutagawa Prize in 1952 and the Kikuchi Kan Prize in 1970, as well as the Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 1957. He chaired the president of Mystery Writers of Japan from 1963 to 1971.
Credited with popularizing the genre among readers in his country, Seichō became his nation's best-selling and highest earning author in the 1960s. His most acclaimed detective novels, including Ten to sen (1958; Points and Lines, 1970); Suna no utsuwa (1961; Inspector Imanishi Investigates, 1989) and Kiri no hata (1961; Pro Bono, 2012), have been translated into a number of languages, including English.
He collaborated with film director Yoshitarō Nomura on adaptations of eight of his novels to film, including Castle of Sand.
Seichō was born in the city of Kokura, now Kokura Kita ward, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka prefecture, on the island of Kyushu in Japan in 1909. His real name was Kiyoharu Matsumoto, he later adopted the pen name of Seichō Matsumoto; "Seichō" is the Sino-Japanese reading of the characters of his given name. A product of humble origins, he was his parents' only child. Following his graduation from elementary school, Seichō found employment at a utility company. As an adult he designed layouts for the Asahi Shinbun in Kyushu. His work in the advertising department was interrupted by service in World War II. A medical corpsman, Seichō spent much of the war in Korea. He resumed work at the Asahi Shinbun after the war, transferring to the Tokyo office in 1950.
Though Seichō attended neither secondary school nor university, he was well read. As a rebellious teenager, he read banned revolutionary texts as part of a political protest. This act so enraged Seichō's father that he destroyed his son's collection of literature. Undeterred, the young Seichō sought award-winning works of fiction and studied them intently. His official foray into literature occurred in 1950 when Shukan Asahi magazine hosted a fiction contest. He submitted his short story "Saigō satsu" (Saigō's Currency) and placed third in the competition. With three generations dependent on him (he supported his parents as well as his wife and children), Seichō welcomed the prize money. His modest success and the encouragement of fellow writers fueled his efforts. Within six years he had retired from his post at the newspaper to pursue a full-time career as a writer.
Renowned for his work ethic, Seichō wrote short fiction while simultaneously producing multiple novels-at one point as many as five concurrently—in the form of magazine serials. Many of Seichō's crime stories debuted in periodicals, among them the acclaimed "Harikomi" (The Chase), in which a woman reunites with her fugitive lover while police close in on her home. As is true of much of Seichō's fiction, this psychological portrait reveals more about the characters than the crime.
For his literary accomplishments, Seichō received the Mystery Writers of Japan Prize, Naoki Prize, and the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for Literature, all awards bestowed on writers of popular fiction. In 1952 he was awarded the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for "Aru 'Kokura-nikki' den" (The Legend of the Kokura-Diary). Considered Seichō's best story, it features a disabled but diligent protagonist who seeks entries that are missing from the diary of author and army medical physician Mori Ōgai.
A lifelong activist, Seichō voiced anti-American sentiment in some of his writings, but he was equally critical of his own society. Many of his works of fiction and nonfiction reveal corruption in the Japanese system. A political radical despite (or perhaps in reaction to) growing up in a conformist society, Seichō associated with like-minded individuals. In 1968 he traveled to communist Cuba as a delegate of the World Cultural Congress and later that same year ventured to North Vietnam to meet with its president. Though he continued to write works of mystery and detective fiction in the 1970s and 1980s, at the same time the author was also interested in political topics.
He was also interested in archeology and Ancient history. He made his idea public in his fiction and in many essays. His interest extended to Northeast Asia, Western Regions, and the Celts.
In 1977, Seichō met Ellery Queen when he visited Japan. In 1987, he was invited by French mystery writers to talk about his sense of mystery at Grenoble. Since then, his fiction has been compared with that of Georges Simenon.
Since his death from cancer at the age of eighty-three, Seichō's popularity has grown internationally, and he has achieved iconic status in Japanese culture.

message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments a better analysis of his contribution to Japanese Literature and Crime Fiction globally is here:

message 5: by David (new)

David | 24 comments I have Inspector Imanishi in my "to read" pile. Perhaps it will be the start of a beautiful relationship. I hope so! Totally addicted to Japanese fiction.

message 6: by Jessica (last edited Sep 29, 2012 03:59PM) (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments Oh, you will love it! Unfortunately, only 3 other books are available in English, of his many, many...a crime!

message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments David (and others): have you read any Miyuke Miyabe? I've read three or four of her novels.

message 8: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments David wrote: "I have Inspector Imanishi in my "to read" pile. Perhaps it will be the start of a beautiful relationship. I hope so! Totally addicted to Japanese fiction."

Who are your favorites? I think I saw Abe and Oe among your books, two of my own favorites.

message 9: by David (new)

David | 24 comments Oe's incredible. Scary. I think he's the best. Kawabata's the cutest and you just want to pop him in your mouth. Mishima's so nuts you hug him and tell him it's going to be ok. I want more Mori Ogai, Tayama Katai, Yoshimura Akira ("Shipwrecks" sounds fun). Endo and I are in a strange place. Tanizaki's great; I don't love him but I loved "Some Prefer Nettles". Natsume Soseki is the same really, I loved "Kokoro" ... and yet "I am a Cat" remains on my bookshelf looking huge.

Murakami Ryu I prefer to Murakami Haruki, and I want to read "Coin Locker Babies" again. But that's it. I see "In the Miso Soup" in used book shops all the time and never buy it.

My reading rule is to alternate books by Japanese authors and non Japanese authors. That said, I am currently using "Forever" by Judy Blume to see me through the boring bits of "Huckleberry Finn" ... but a Japanese book will follow.

message 10: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 122 comments I am currently using "Forever" by Judy Blume to see me through the boring bits of "Huckleberry Finn" ..

Hahahahaha! Good.

message 11: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments David: I recommend Kono Taeko:

message 12: by Jessica (last edited Sep 30, 2012 04:37AM) (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments David wrote: "Oe's incredible. Scary. I think he's the best. Kawabata's the cutest and you just want to pop him in your mouth. Mishima's so nuts you hug him and tell him it's going to be ok. I want more Mori Oga..."
I love Oe as well. The short-short stories of Kawabata might be described as cute but his novella, Snow Country, is hardly that. It's so eerily, almost painfully beautiful, elegantly and quietly least to this reader.

message 13: by Rise (new)

Rise Jessica wrote: "David: I recommend Kono Taeko:"

I was tempted to put up a thread on Kōno Taeko, but since only one book of hers was translated, it's not so much a project for a "completist". But definitely an author worth reading.

message 14: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments Definitely. It's a crime there isn't more of her work translated as she's well-regarded in Japan, with awards, etc.

message 15: by Rise (new)

Rise I'm rooting for a Nobel for Kōno, if only to bring out her backlist.

message 16: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments Can one write the Academy? or something like that? Or are you just hoping/praying?

message 17: by Rise (new)

Rise Kenzaburo Oe likes her, and former Nobel laureates can nominate. So one can hope.

message 18: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments ah... yes, I hope!!

message 19: by David (new)

David | 24 comments Thanks for the tip! Just ordered it, can't wait. I adore her cardigan in the author profile picture BTW.

I know Kawabata takes us to some dark places but he's always so Japanese I can't help but love him and think he's adorable.

message 20: by David (new)

David | 24 comments Jessica wrote: "David (and others): have you read any Miyuke Miyabe? I've read three or four of her novels."

Missed this, sorry. No, I haven't. Fun?

I'm thinking of sarting a Kawabata completists list...

message 21: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments You should definitely start a Kawabata list.

Miyabe is fun, yes, I got onto this Japanese Crime writers kick, and so...I was led to her. Have read 3 or 4 of hers. There is always a sociological exploration/commentary aspect to the fiction: the Internet, credit card debt, identity theft, so that's interesting too.

message 22: by David (new)

David | 24 comments Kawabata bibliographies seem annoyingly dissimilar. I might leave this until I have a copy of "The Dancing Girl of Izu" / "The Izu Dancer" and can decide which title to use.

message 23: by Rise (last edited Sep 30, 2012 09:50AM) (new)

Rise David, how about using Kawabata's bibliography in It probably lists the major works and explains the alternate titles.

message 24: by David (new)

David | 24 comments Yeah ... I did look at that .. but doesn't it put them in publishing order, rather than chronological? I saw that "The Scarlet Gang...", his second book, was right at the bottom of the list. And it has the "Izu / Dancing" thing listed twice ... I guess different translations? I'm not confident that I know enough to do this well, yet.

message 25: by Jessica (last edited Sep 30, 2012 11:06AM) (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments David wrote: ...I'm not confident that I know enough to do this well, yet. "

haha, some of us just jumped in, fools that we are


message 26: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 7 comments Do any of you know whether any of Mr. Seicho's works contain scenes of or references to the Japanese board game Go? I both read and collect fiction which mentions the game, and am always looking for any I don't have.


message 27: by Jessica (last edited Oct 01, 2012 05:19PM) (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments Hi Brian, I don't recall any mention of Go in his works. Admittedly, my memory is imperfect, but...

message 28: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald | 7 comments Thank you.

message 29: by David (new)

David | 24 comments The most recent book I read with Go in it was David Mitchell's "Thousand Autumns ...". Assume you have that one?

message 30: by David (new)

David | 24 comments There's a scene in "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters" where the priest of the Golden Temple is playing Go ... but I can't remember if this scene is straight from the book of not....

message 31: by Jessica (last edited Jun 21, 2013 05:53PM) (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments I was reading the latest New Yorker (6/24). Here's how "Last Call, a Buddhist monk confronts Japan's suicide culture," begins:

From time to time, Ittetsu Nemoto gets a group of suicidal people together to visit popular suicide spots, of which there are many in Japan. The best known is Aokigahara forest, the Sea of Trees, at the foot of Mt Fuji. The forest became associated with suicide in the nineteen-sixties, after the publication of two novels by Seicho Matsumoto, and even more so after Wataru Tsurimi's 1993 'Complete Manual of Suicide' declared it the perfect place to die. Because its trees grow so closely together that they block the wind and because there are few animals or birds, the forest is unusually quiet...

definitely worth reading:

message 32: by Sketchbook (last edited Jun 22, 2013 09:51AM) (new)

Sketchbook This "culture" gives Japan a serious civility. It's beyond American comprehension.

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