Jiro Ikushima, a pioneer of hard-boiled fiction in Japan, died Sunday night of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital, his family said Monday. He was 70.
Ikushima, whose real name was Taro Koizumi, rose to fame on the back of mystery novels published in the 1960s.
His debut, “Shokon No Machi” (“The Scarred City”), was published in 1964. It was followed three years later by “Oitsumeru” (“Cornering”), which won the coveted Naoki Prize.
Ikushima was also acclaimed for his 1984 romantic novel “Katayoku Dake No Tenshi” (“Angel With Only One Wing”), an autobiographical work centering on his romance with a South Korean woman.
Sales of “Katayoku Dake No Tenshi” hit the 500,000 mark two years later, with the story later forming the basis of a movie.
Born in Shanghai, Ikushima graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo and worked as editor in chief of the Japanese version of the U.S.-based Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine until 1963. He then began writing hard-boiled fiction.
He served as chairman of the Mystery Writers of Japan, Inc., from 1989 to 1993.
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