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Asakura Hisashi

Entry updated 7 April 2021. Tagged: Author, Editor.

Pseudonym of Zenji Ōtani (1930-2010), the Japanese translator of, among others, J G Ballard, Michael Crichton, Philip K Dick, Harry Harrison and Fritz Leiber. Graduating in Anglo-American studies from Osaka University, he initially worked in a textile company until 1966. A prolific translator for S-F Magazine, he was obliged to use several other pseudonyms, including Yuriko Sawa and Reiji Ōtani, for fear that multiple appearances by the same translator in a single issue would lead readers to assume slapdash work. His surname was selected in homage to the Japanese pronunciation of Arthur C Clarke. His most enduring modern influence in Japan is perhaps indirect: his style of Japanese in translating Kurt Vonnegut has itself been cited as an inspiration for the style of the novels of Haruki Murakami. [JonC]

Zenji Ōtani

born Osaka, Japan: 29 March 1930

died 14 February 2010

works as editor (selected)

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