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Minamiyama Hiroshi

Entry updated 4 May 2021. Tagged: Author, Editor.

Pseudonym of Yū Mori (1936-    ), Japanese translator, author and editor. An early contributor to the Fanzine Uchūjin while still a student of German literature at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, he dropped out of college after being offered a job at the publisher Hayakawa Shobō through an introduction by Takumi Shibano. Working under the editor-in-chief Masami Fukushima, Minamiyama shared the duties of selecting and translating sf from overseas, with his early credits including Citizen in Space (coll 1955; trans Hiroshi Minamiyama as Uchū Shimin 1966) by Robert Sheckley and Synthetic Men of Mars (January 1939 Argosy All-Story Weekly; 1940; trans as Kasei no Gōsei Ningen) by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Following Fukushima's resignation in 1968, Minamiyama inherited his dual role as commissioning editor of Hayakawa's sf booklist, and as editor-in-chief of S-F Magazine, in which many of the stories were first serialized. His six-year tenure led to a marked change in the character of the magazine, with a more open celebration of Pulp sf, and a relaxation of his predecessor's embargo on covers drawn by Manga artists. This, in turn, opened up the field in the genre's most prominent mouthpiece to artists such as Leiji Matsumoto and Shōtarō Ishinomori. In 1970, Minamiyama initiated the Hayakawa Bunko series of paperbacks, further widening the field by offering opportunities to then-unknowns such as Kazumasa Hirai and Ryō Hanmura.

In 1974, Minamiyama left Hayakawa and resumed his translation career, drifting away from sf into the slipstream of "nonfiction" works about UFOs, "out-of-place artefacts" (OOPArts), cryptozoology and Pseudoscience, including Charles Berlitz's The Bermuda Triangle (1974; trans as Nazo no Bermuda Kaiiki: UFO kichi ka, Shi-jigen no Dansō ka 1975) (see Bermuda Triangle) and Mysterious World (1980; trans as Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World 1986) by Simon Welfare and John Fairley (see Arthur C Clarke). He became a consultant to the Pseudoscience magazine Mu in 1979, and an occasional correspondent for Fortean Times in the UK, writing dozens of books on prophecies, paranormal phenomena and conspiracies. Considering his proximity and contacts within the field of Japanese sf, these works are liable to have formed a major point of entry into research for other Japanese writers – certainly, many of his choices in nomenclature and translation appear to have had a strong influence on the terminology used in some Anime. [JonC]

see also: Seiun Award.

Yū Mori

born Tokyo: 29 July 1936


works (highly selected)


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