Soji Shimada

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In this Japanese name, the family name is "Shimada".
Soji Shimada
Soji Shimada in Black.JPG
Born October 12, 1948
Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
Occupation Novelist
Nationality Japanese
Period 1981–present
Genre Mystery fiction
Website
WS Kan Soji Shimada Supervision Website
SSK Link Machine

Soji Shimada (島田 荘司 Shimada Sōji?, born October 12, 1948) is a Japanese mystery writer. Born in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.

Biography[edit]

Soji Shimada graduated from Seishikan High School in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture, and later Musashino Art University as a Commercial arts design major.

After spending years as a dump truck driver, free writer, and musician, he made his debut as a mystery writer in 1981 when The Tokyo Zodiac Murders remained as a finalist in the Edogawa Rampo Award.[1] His most well-known works include the Detective Mitarai Series and the Detective Yoshiki Series.[1] His works often involve themes such as the death penalty, Nihonjinron (his theory on the Japanese people), and Japanese and international culture. He is a strong supporter of amateur Honkaku (i.e. authentic, orthodox) mystery writers. Following the trend of Social School of crime fiction led by Seicho Matsumoto, he was the pioneer of "Shin-Honkaku" (New Orthodox) logic mystery genre. He bred authors such as Yukito Ayatsuji, Rintaro Norizuki and Shogo Utano, and he led the mystery boom from the late 1980s to present day. As the father of "Shin-Honkaku," Shimada is sometimes referred to as "The Godfather of Shin-Honkaku" or "God of Mystery.”

Though a grave critic and writer, Shimada is not the harsh, grim character that many imagine him to be; in fact, he is quite friendly in person. One could get a sense of his character in his humor mysteries such as Soseki and the London Mummy Murders and Let There Be Murder, Any Kind of Murder. These novels, especially the latter, involves an extravagant mystery trick as well as elements of satire, confusion, youth, and survival. These colorful themes made the novel into a great hit, and were made into a short series.

In recent years, he has begun a new challenge—an animated series called the "Taiga Novels," collaborated with the renowned illustrator Masamune Shirow. Upon its kick-off in January 2008, he and Shirow plan to create a twelve-book series through the Kodansha BOX publishers.[2] On top of the BOX, Shimada holds a column in the celebrated magazine, the Weekly Shincho. He is also heading two newly founded Amateur Mystery Novel contests—first, "The City of Roses Fukuyama Mystery Award"[3] for amateur writers in Japan, and the "Soji Shimada Mystery Award"[4] in Taiwan, sponsored by Crown Publishing company. Even past the age of sixty, his passion for writing has become stronger than ever: he is truly the maestro of Shin-Honkaku mystery.

Works available in English[edit]

Novel
Short story

Major Works[edit]

Detective Kiyoshi Mitarai Series[edit]

  • Novels
    • The Tokyo Zodiac Murders (占星術殺人事件 Senseijutsu Satsujin Jiken (1981 Kodansha Press)?)
    • Murder in the Crooked Mansion (斜め屋敷の犯罪 Naname Yashiki no Hanzai (1982 Kodansha Press) ?)
    • The Knight Stranger (異邦の騎士 Iho no Kishi (1988 Kodansha Press)?)
    • The Cannibal Tree of Dark Hill (暗闇坂の人喰いの木 Kurayamizaka Hitokui No Ki (1990 Kodansha Press)?)
    • The Crystal Pyramid (水晶のピラミッド Suisho no Pyramiddo (1991 Kodansha Press)?)
    • Vertigo (眩暈 Memai (1992 Kodansha Press)?)
    • Atopos (アトポス Atoposu (1993 Kodansha Press)?)
    • The Ryugatei Murders (龍臥亭事件 Ryugatei Jiken (1996 Kobunsha Press)?)
    • Hollywood Certificate (ハリウッド・サーティフィケート Hollywood Certificate (2001 Kadokawa Shoten) ?)
    • Phantom Russian Warship (ロシア幽霊軍艦事件 Roshia Yurei Gunkan Ziken (2001 Harashobo Press)?)
    • The Devil's Revelry (魔神の遊戯 Majin no Yugi (2002 Bungeishunju Press)?)
    • St. Nicolas' Diamond Shoes (セント・ニコラスの、ダイヤモンドの靴 Sento Nikorasu no, Diamondo no Kutsu (2002 Harabshobo Press)?)
    • Nezishiki Zazetsuki (ネジ式ザゼツキー Nezishiki Zazetsuki(2003 Kodansha Press)?)
    • Illusions from Ryugatei (龍臥亭幻想 Ryugatei Gensou (Jyo/Ge) (2004 Kobunsha Press)?)
    • The Phantom of the Skyscraper (摩天楼の怪人 Matenrou no Kaijin (2005 Tokyo Sougensha)?)
    • The Adventures of Satomi Inubo (犬坊里美の冒険 Inubo Satomi no Bouken (2006 Kobunsha Press)?)
    • The Final Pitch (最後の一球 Saigo no Ikkyu (2006 Harashobo Press)?)
  • Novella collections
    • The Locked House of Pythagoras (Pの密室 P no Misshitsu (1999 Kodansha Press)?)
    • Jack the Ripper of Kamikochi (上高地の切り裂きジャック Kamikochi no Kirisaki Jack (2003 Harashobo Press)?)
    • UFO Boulevard (UFO大通り UFO Oodori (2006 Kodansha Press)?)
    • The Allegory of Ribeltas (リベルタスの寓話 Ribeltas no Guwa (2007 Kodansha Press)?)
  • Short story collections
    • The Greeting of Kiyoshi Mitarai (御手洗潔の挨拶 Mitarai Kiyoshi no Aisatsu (1987 KodanshaPress)?)
    • The Dance of Kiyoshi Mitarai (御手洗潔のダンス Mitarai Kiyoshi no Dansu(1990 Kodansha Press)?)
    • The Melodies of Kiyoshi Mitarai (御手洗潔のメロディ Mitarai Kiyoshi No Melody (1998 Kodansha Press)?)
    • The Last Dinner (最後のディナー Saigo no Dinner (1999 Harashobo Press)?)
    • The Drowning Mermaid (溺れる人魚 Oboreru Ningyo (2006 Harashobo Press)?)
    • Shinshindo Sekai Isshu (進々堂世界一周 追憶のカシュガル Shinshindo Sekai Isshu (2011 Shinchosha Press)?)

Detective Takeshi Yoshiki Series[edit]

All works, with the exception of The Fading "Crystal Express," have been published by Kobunsha Press. A portion of the works have been adapted into a TV series by TBS: Takeshi Yoshiki Series.

  • Novels
    • Overnight Express "Hayabusa": the Wall of 1/60 seconds (寝台特急「はやぶさ」1/60秒の壁 Shindai Tokkyu Hayabusa 1/60byo no Kabe (1984)?) – Dramatized into TV episode 1
    • The Izumo Legend: 7/8 of a Murder (出雲伝説7/8の殺人 Izumo Densetsu 7/8 no Satsuzin (1984)?)
    • Crane of the North: 2/3 of a Murder (北の夕鶴2/3の殺人 Kita no Yuzuru 2/3 no Satsujin (1984)?) – Dramatized into TV episode 3
    • The Fading "Crystal Express" (消える「水晶特急」 Kieru Suisho Tokkyu (1984 Kadokawa Shoten) ?)
    • A 2/2 Chance of Death (確率2/2の死 Kakuritsu 2/2 no Shi (1985)?)
    • The Blueprint of "Y" (Yの構図 Y no Kozu (1986)?)
    • Ashen Labyrinth (灰の迷宮 Hai no Meikyu (1987)?) – Dramatized into TV Episode 2
    • The Night Rings a Thousand Bells (夜は千の鈴を鳴らす Yoru wa Sen no Suzu wo Narasu (1988)?)
    • Yutai Ridatsu Satsujin Jiken (幽体離脱殺人事件 Yutai Ridatsu Satsujin Jiken (1989)?) – Dramatized into TV Episode 4
    • Kiso, Ten o Ugokasu (奇想、天を動かす Kisou, Ten wo Ugokasu (1989)?)
    • Hagoromo Densetsu no Kioku (羽衣伝説の記憶 Hagoromo Densetsu no Kioku (1990)?)
    • Words Without "Ra" (ら抜き言葉殺人事件 Ra Nuki Kotoba Satsujin Jiken (1991)?)
    • Asuka's Glass Shoes (飛鳥のガラスの靴 Asuka no Garasu no Kutsu (1991)?)
    • As Tears Go By (涙流れるままに Namida Nagarerumamani (1999)?)
  • Short story collection
    • The Portrait of Yoshiki Takeshi (later changed to The Shining Crane) (吉敷竹史の肖像(2002年 「光る鶴」に改題) Yoshiki Takeshi no Shozo (Hikaru Tsuru) (2002)?)

Standalone novels[edit]

  • Let There Be Murder, Any Kind of Murder (嘘でもいいから殺人事件 Uso de mo Ii kara Satsujin Jiken (1984 Shueisha Press)?)
  • Soseki and the London Mummy Murders (漱石と倫敦ミイラ殺人事件 Soseki to Rondon Mira Satsujin Jiken (1984 Shueisha Press)?)
  • Jack the Ripper, One Hundred Years of Solitude (切り裂きジャック・百年の孤独 Kirisaki Jack Hyakunen no Kodoku (1988 Shueisha Press)?)

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]