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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Edogawa Ranpo

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Edogawa Ranpo

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Full Name: Taro Hirai
Born: October 21, 1894
Nabari, Mie, Japan
Died: June 28, 1965
Occupation: Author, Critic
Nationality: Japanese


Taro Hirai, better known by the pseudonym Edogawa Ranpo, also romanized as Edogawa Rampo, was a Japanese author and critic who played a major role in the development of Japanese mystery fiction. Many of his novels involve the detective hero Kogoro Akechi, who in later books was the leader of a group of boy detectives known as the "Boy Detectives Club".

Ranpo was an admirer of Western mystery writers, and especially of Edgar Allan Poe. His pen name is a rendering of Poe's name. Other authors who were special influences on him were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whom he attempted to translate into Japanese during his days as a student at Waseda University, and the Japanese mystery writer Ruiko Kuroiwa.

Edogawa Rampo is the acknowledged grand master of Japan's golden age of crime and mystery fiction. In the early part of his career, he created the Japanese gothic mystery, developing the work of Edgar Allan Poe and related nineteenth century writers in a distinctly Japanese form.

This part of his career coincided with a great flowering in Japanese literature and culture, a relatively free and uninhibited popular press being a defining feature of the times. In this context, Rampo's dark vision and extravagant grotesquery found an avid readership, and had a profound influence on other writers. Public morals tightened in the years leading up to Japan's Asian and Pacific wars, and censorship was tight in the war years. Rampo's early work fell out of favor, and he turned to adventure stories with detective characters in leading roles.

After the war, he concentrated on stories for young readers, and on developing the Japan Association of Mystery Writers. The Edogawa Rampo Prize, originally endowed by Rampo himself, is awarded annually to the finest work of the year in the mystery genre. It is the most important prize of its type in Japan.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Non Series Works