Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Inspector Imanishi Investigates

Leslie's book collection has a large number of novels that have been translated into English. Within that category many were originally written in Japanese.

For several years one particular book, Inspector Imanishi Investigates by Seicho Matsumoto, kept calling out "Read me. Read me." (Click on the cover picture for larger view.)

Nothing about the book seemed particularly interesting - it's a "police procedural". I'm not a fan of crime or mystery writing and the reviews on the cover made comparisons to writers I knew nothing about.

But the "read me" voice persisted. About a year ago I took the plunge.

Written in 1961 in a dry 3rd person narrative that reveals fascinating day to day details of life in Japan 45 years ago, Inspector Imanishi Investigates chronicles several seemingly unexplainable deaths and the determination of one police inspector to explain them.

Imagine my surprise when one character is a composer of electronic music.

"Ah," I thought, not really believing it but still impressed by the coincidence, "that is why I was told to read this."

Here is some online discussion of the book. Here is a review.

I won't tell you about this fictional, young, internationally-known avant-garde composer, Eiryo Waga, but I thought of him when this article in WFMU's Beware the Blog had a link to THIS PAGE where you can listen to Japanese electronic music of the 1950's by composers Toru Takemitsu and Toshiro Mayuzumi.

Relevant, educational Video - a modern Japanese composer demonstrates an ancient instrument from a later decade - the Mellotron. Part One What happens inside. Part Two: Changing the sample set

Irrelevant, highly suggestive Video - a Japanese television commercial showing a woman doing . . . you'll have to use your imagination. Probably best if you don't imagine this at work.

No comments :