Received the sad news on Friday that my Japanese translator, Yoshio Kobayashi, passed away suddenly last Thursday night. I knew he’s not been well for some time, but this came sudden.
He was better known under the pen name Takashi Ogawa, under which name he translated numerous works into Japanese.
Yoshio championed my work in Japan, beginning with some short stories (“The Night Train”, “The Stoker Memorandum”, “The Smell of Orange Groves”), and then selecting the Bookman Histories novels for publication. He translated all three for Hayakawa.
I saw him only a month or so back when I was in Japan for Hal-Con. He was full of energy, took me around Tokyo, and made sure to introduce me to all my Japanese publishers in Jimbocho (Tokyo’s incredible book area). We got to share one panel at the convention later in the weekend. He was smart, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and very kind.
There is a vigil tomorrow, and the funeral will take place on Wednesday. My condolences go to his family and his many friends, both in Japan and abroad.
As part of my guest of honour appearance at Hal-Con there will be a short story collection of mine, in English and Japanese, published later this year, Venus in Bloom and Other Stories. I have asked that, in honour of Yoshio, we will have the collection dedicated to his memory.
Rest in peace.