Edogawa Rampo (Hirai Taro, 1894-1965) is widely regarded as the father of Japanese mystery writing. Born in Mie Prefecture, he graduated in 1916 from Waseda University and took on a series of odd jobs, working as an accountant, clerk, salesman, and peddler of noodles from a cart, before discovering his vocation as a writer. The first modern writer of mysteries in Japan, and long-time president of the Japan Mystery Writers' Club, Rampo derived his pen name from the Japanese pronunciation of Edgar Allan Poe, under whose spell he fell early in his career. Dr. Patricia Welch is an Associate Professor of Japanese and Comparative Literature in the Department of Comparative Literature at Hofstra University.
"Japan's most famous mystery story writer is named Edogawa Rampo.
Rampo took this name because he is a great admirer of Poe. When a
visiting American asked [a noted Japanese psychologist] if the
Japanese reading public didn't confuse Rampo with the real Edgar
Allan Poe, he replied, 'Oh, no ... Edogawa Rampo is much more
famous.'" --New York Times Book Review
"Rampo is Japan's foremost writer of mystery and tales of suspense." --The Journal of Asian Studies