25 September 1920|
|Died||9 September 1995
|Genre||crime fiction, science fiction|
Akimitsu Takagi (高木 彬光 Takagi Akimitsu, 25 September 1920–9 September 1995), was the pen-name of a popular Japanese crime fiction writer active during the Showa period of Japan. His real name was Takagi Seiichi.
Takagi was born in Aomori City in Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan. He graduated from the Daiichi High School (which was often abbreviated to Ichi-ko) and Kyoto Imperial University, where he studied metallurgy. He was employed by the Nakajima Aircraft Company, but lost his job with the prohibition on military industries in Japan after World War II.
On the recommendation of a fortune-teller, he decided to become a writer. He sent the second draft of his first detective story, The Tattoo Murder Case, to the great mystery writer Edogawa Ranpo, who recognized his skill and who recommended it to a publisher. It was published in 1948.
He received the Tantei sakka club sho (Mystery Writers Club Award) for his second novel, the Noh Mask Murder Case in 1950.
Takagi was a self-taught legal expert and the heroes in most of his books were usually prosecutors or police detectives, although the protagonist in his first stories was Kyosuke Kamizu, an assistant professor at Tokyo University.
In The Informer (1965), a former Tokyo stock exchange worker is fired because of illegal trades. A subsequent stock market crash means that he has no hope of returning to his old career and therefore he accepts a job from an old friend even though he eventually discovers that the new firm he works for is really an agency for industrial espionage. The plot is based on actual events.
He was struck by stroke several times since 1979, and died in 1995.
Works in English translation
- Detective Kyosuke Kamizu series
- The Tattoo Murder Case. Soho Crime (1999). ISBN 1-56947-156-8. (original title: Shisei Satsujin Jiken)
- Prosecutor Saburo Kirishima series
- Honeymoon to Nowhere. Soho Crime (1999). ISBN 1-56947-154-1. (original title: Zero no Mitsugetsu) (aka No Patent on Murder)
- The Informer. Soho Crime (2001). ISBN 1-56947-243-2. (original title: Mikkokusha)
Detective Kyosuke Kamizu series
- The Tattoo Murder Case (1948) (刺青殺人事件)
- House of Spell (1949) (呪縛の家)
- Madan no Shashu (1950) (魔弾の射手)
- Hakuyoki (1952) (白妖鬼)
- Akuma no Chosho (1955) (悪魔の嘲笑)
- Why Has the Doll Been Killed (1955) (人形はなぜ殺される)
- Shi o Hiraku Tobira (1957) (死を開く扉)
- Mystery of Genghis Khan (1958) (成吉思汗の秘密)
- Hakuma no Uta (1958) (白魔の歌)
- Kasha to Shisha (1959) (火車と死者)
- Shinigami no Za (1960) (死神の座)
- Mystery of Yamataikoku (1973) (邪馬台国の秘密)
- Kitsune no Misshitsu (1977) (狐の密室)
- Mystery of the early Japanese Emperors (1986) (古代天皇の秘密)
- Seven Lucky Gods Murder Case (1987) (七福神殺人事件)
- Kamizu Kyosuke e no Chosen (1991) (神津恭介への挑戦)
- Kamizu Kyosuke no Fukkatsu (1993) (神津恭介の復活)
- Kamizu Kyosuke no Yogen (1994) (神津恭介の予言)
- Short story collections
- Crime in my Ichi-Ko days (1976) (わが一高時代の犯罪)
- Shibijin Gekijo (1977) (死美人劇場)
- Kage Naki Onna (1977) (影なき女)
- Jakyo no Kami (1978) (邪教の神)
- Enchantress's Lodge (1982) (妖婦の宿)
- Shirayuki Hime (1986) (白雪姫)
- Kubi o Kau Onna (1988) (首を買う女)
Prosecutor Saburo Kirishima series
- Short story collections
- Nimakuhan no Satsujin (1976) (二幕半の殺人)
- Hana no Kake (1977) (花の賭)
- Noh Mask Murder Case (1949) (能面殺人事件)
- People Gathering like Ants (1959) (人蟻)
- Blind Spot in Broad Daylight (1960) (白昼の死角)
- Destructive Justice (1961) (破戒裁判)
- Combined Fleet Has Won at Last (1971) (連合艦隊ついに勝つ)
- Goodbye Mask (1988) (仮面よ、さらば)