Science-Fiction Author Taku Mayumura Passes Away
posted on by Egan Loo
Award-winning science-fiction author Taku Mayumura passed away on the morning of Sunday, November 3 due to aspiration pneumonia. He was 85.
Mayumura was born under the name Takuji Murakami in Osaka City in 1934. He graduated from Osaka University's School of Economics and made his professional writing debut as copywriter.
Mayumura eventually wrote many novels, including such children's science-fiction classics as Maboroshi no Pen Friend (Phantom Pen Pal) and Psychic School Wars (Nerawareta Gakuen). Shōmetsu no Kōrin (Vanishing Halo), a novel in Mayumura's Administrator (Shiseikan) series about humanity's advancement into space to colonize planets, won the Seiun Award from Japanese science-fiction fans and the Izumi Kyōka Prize for Literature in 1979. Kurodahan Press published an Administrator volume in English in 2004.
Mayumura's Toraerareta School Bus (Captured School Bus) story inspired Mori Masaki and TOHO's 1986 anime film Toki no Tabibito -Time Stranger-, and The Order to Stop Construction (Kōji Chūshi Meirei) story inspired Katsuhiro Otomo and Madhouse's segment of the same name in the 1987 Neo-Tokyo omnibus anime film. More recently, his Nerawareta Gakuen novel inspired Ryosuke Nakamura and Sunrise's 2012 anime film Psychic School Wars.
To encourage his ailing wife Etsuko during her eventually terminal bout with cancer, he wrote a story a day for almost five years. He eventually published the stories as Tsuma ni Sasageta 1778-wa (1,778 Stories Dedicated to My Wife), and the collection inspired Mamoru Hoshi's 2011 live-action film 1,778 Stories of Me and My Wife starring SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and actress Yuko Takeuchi.
According to Mayumura's family, the author had been dealing with cancer for several years, and he was hospitalized on October 8 after his health took a turn for the worse. He continued writing in his bed, even just before he passed away.