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Bi'en Fū

Entry updated 3 January 2017. Tagged: Author.

Pseudonym of Princess Fukuko Asaka (1941-2009) a Japanese sf author better known as the second cousin of Emperor Hirohito. A great grand-daughter of the same Meiji Emperor whose restoration ushered in Japan's modern era, Asaka lost her title during a 1947 pruning of the imperial family tree conducted by US Occupation authorities. Her pseudonym Bi'en Fū (literally: "Beauty Garden") was used in several stories printed in Takumi Shibano's influential Fanzine, Uchūjin.

Unsurprisingly inspired by the Mythology from which the Japanese imperial family still claimed descent, her "Hoshi no Hakamori" ["Stellar Grave Keeper"] (circa 1968 Uchūjin) depicts an Immortal imperial consort, tending the tomb of the long-dead ruler of a Galactic Empire (see Ruins and Futurity). Some later works, such as "Chōja Gensōfu" ["An Aztec Fantasy"] (1968 Uchūjin) championed the causes of Native Americans, while "Apcolimit Monogatari" ["Apcolimit Romance"] (1968 Uchūjin) was an early work concerning Cyborgs. The critic Takayuki Tatsumi locates Asaka not only as a disinherited noblewoman re-inventing a place for herself in a new literary elite, but also as a pioneer in much of the concerns of Postmodernism and SF that would eventually form the basis of Japanese Cyberpunk. [JonC]

Fukuko Asaka

born Japan: 1941

died Japan: 19 February 2009



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