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Ken Yasuhara, a noted editor and literary critic, died of lung cancer in Tokyo on Monday afternoon, his family said. He was 63.

Yasuhara, whose real name was Akira Yasuhara, was born in Tokyo. He served as editor of various magazines published by Chuokoronsha, a publishing firm now known as Chuokoron-Shinsha.

He was recognized for discovering a number of authors and for setting up literature and philosophy magazines.

After dropping out of Waseda University, where he studied French, Yasuhara was known in the publishing field as “Yasuken” and as “Super Editor.”

After leaving Chuokoronsha, he served as the editor in chief of a book review magazine. He had worked on a freelance basis since 1997, writing on a wide variety of topics, including social issues and jazz.

Yasuhara had recently posted book reviews and his diaries on the Web site of an Internet bookstore. He also used the site to announce that he had cancer.

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