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Tetsu Yano (1923-2004)

Tetsu Yano, a major translator of science fiction in Japan, died on October 13th. He suffered from cancer of the large intestine, and went through an operation last November. At that time he had a good recovery, but recently he became ill again. On the morning of October 13th, he drank a drop of last "sake" and died peacefully. His funeral was held on October 16th.

Yano-san was author of "The Legend of the Paper Spaceship," a novella first published in English translation in 1984 and subsequently reprinted numerous times in various collections. He was also the translator of almost all of the novels and short stories by Robert A. Heinlein. He helped to introduce many American and British science fiction writers to Japan.

Born October 10, 1923 and educated at Chuoh University, Yano has been called Japan's first science fiction fan. He discovered SF through a paperback book which was discarded by an American Soldier and was introduced to American SF fans through a letter he wrote to Thrilling Wonder. In 1953 he was one of the first Japanese SF fans to visit the US when he traveled to Westercon and the WorldCon in Philadelphia. A former Chairman of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan, he wrote many original works, some of which were made into anime. He translated over 350 books including titles by Frederik Pohl, Desmond Bagley, Gene van Troyer and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Posted October 19, 2004

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