Noted Japanese nonfiction writer Kazutoshi Hando, known for his research on the history of Japan’s Showa Era (1926-1989), died on Tuesday. He was 90.
Hando was found collapsed at his home in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward and later confirmed dead.
Born in Tokyo, Hando experienced massive U.S. air raids on the Japanese capital in March 1945 during World War II.
After the war ended, Hando graduated from the University of Tokyo and entered publisher Bungeishunju Ltd. He then began to conduct research on war history, inspired by his meetings with author Ango Sakaguchi and Masanori Ito, a former reporter of the now-defunct Imperial Japanese Navy.
Hando hosted a symposium of people involved in the war and featured the event in the August 1963 issue of the Bungeishunju monthly magazine.
In 1965, Hando released “Japan’s Longest Day” on the basis of the symposium and additional research. The book attracted keen attention and was made into a movie twice.
At the publisher, Hando served as chief editor of the Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine and the Bungeishunju monthly as well as senior managing director.
After leaving the company in 1995, he became an author, writing about Japanese history since modern times, and appeared on many television programs.
In 1998, Hando received a prize for his book “Nomonhan no Natsu.” A two-volume set of books he wrote about the history of Showa won an award in 2006 and became a bestseller.
Hando also stressed the significance of peace and war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution to younger generations.
In 2015, he was awarded the Kikuchi Kan prize in recognition of his efforts to search for the truth of the war through interviews with people concerned and enlighten readers with a number of excellent nonfiction books about history.
Hando’s wife, Mariko, is the fourth daughter of the oldest daughter of renowned novelist Natsume Soseki (1867-1916). Hando wrote many essays about Soseki, one of which won the Nitta Jiro literature prize in 1993.
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