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Science-Fiction Novelist Sakyo Komatsu Passes Away

posted on by Egan Loo

Influential science-fiction novelist Sakyo Komatsu passed away in an Osaka hospital on Tuesday, July 26 at 4:36 p.m. due to pneumonia. He was 80 years old.

Komatsu wrote a number of novels that gained recognition not only in Japan, but around the world. Perhaps his best known novel is Japan Sinks! which inspired two live-action films and a live-action television series. His stories also inspired the Komatsu Sakyo Anime Gekijō television anime series.

Komatsu was born in Osaka and he graduated from Kyoto University in Italian literature. After working as a magazine editor and a factory foreman, he became a comedy scriptwriter. He then made a name for himself in large-scale science-fiction epics with historical and literary themes with the 1964 novel Nihon Apache-Zoku.

Komatsu's 1973 disaster novel Japan Sinks! inspired a live-action movie in the same year it was published. Shinji Higuchi, one of the founders of the anime studio Gainax, directed a second live-action film version in 2006 under the English title Doomsday: The Sinking of Japan. The second film starred SMAP singer Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and actress Kou Shibasaki (Battle Royale, Dororo) with cameos by Evangelion director Hideaki Anno, Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, Hataraki Man creator Moyoco Anno, and actress Mayumi Shintani (Cutie Honey's Scarlet Claw). The novel itself has sold over three million copies and won an award from the Mysery Writers of Japan. Komatsu then wrote a sequel that won a Seiun Award from the Japan Science Fiction Convention in 2007.

A service was held for family members.

Source: Nikkei

Update: More background information added.

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