Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sherlock Holmes, ah so!

Ann and I were honored over the past few days to host our friends Hiro and Eiko Yazane from Tokyo. When I showed Hiro my Sherlockian library, he said, "Sherlock Holmes -- very famous in Japan!"

Naturally I started searching my shelves for books with Japanese connections.

I have one book written in Japanese. It's a children's adaptation of Maurice Leblanc's L'aiguille Creuse (The Hollow Needle), a novel of about gentleman thief Arsène Lupin that also features the great detective Holmlock Shears. My copy is the 45th printing, from 1975.

Then there's the book I can actually read, Japan and Sherlock Holmes. This is a collection of both new and classic essays by Japanese writers, translated into English and published as part of the Baker Street Irregulars International Series in 2004.

Included are two essays by Japanese mystery writer Rampo Edogawa, one detailing the beginning of the Baritsu Chapter of the Baker Street Irregulars and the other a short essay on Poe and Doyle. I love this passage in the latter essay:
Indeed, Doyle followed Poe's examples but succeeded in popularization of the genre by his plain and good English style and moderate humorous exaggeration in Holmes and Watson's characterization.

Now, the name of Sherlock Holmes is known to many who know neither Poe nor Dupin, nor even the name of Doyle. Today, Doyle is dead but Holmes is alive as an actual person.
How true!


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  2. Interesting fact about Sherlock Holmes in Japan: "The League of Red-Headed Men" was originally translated as "The League of Bald Headed Men" since Japanese culture was unfamiliar with red hair.