Translation Works
To Japanese
The 1st Selected Works
The Curious Casebook of Inspector Hanshichi
(Hanshichi torimonocho)
ENGLISH / Ian MacDonald published
FRENCH / Karine Chesneau published
Originally Published by:
Heiwa Shuppansha (1917)
  • A pioneering work written when Japanese mystery fiction was almost nonexistent
The Adventures of "Japanese Sherlock Holmes" Hanshichi!
"My" uncle knew a lot of dark and ghostly legends, but he did not believe them, perhaps owing to the samurai teaching that "those worthy of being samurai should not believe in such things as ghosts." For some reason, though, he did believe in an incident referred to as "the case of Ofumi." Driven by curiosity, I went to visit Uncle K, an acquaintance of my father and uncle, who was believed to have a connection to the case. However, I found Uncle K, usually a talkative old chap, rather tightlipped when it came to this case.
Two years later, "I" had completely forgotten the Ofumi case. But one day, Uncle K suddenly started talking about it.
It was when he was about 20 that Hikotaro Matsumura's younger sister, Omichi (who had gone as a bride to Koishikawa) brought her daughter, Oharu, to visit the Matsumura residence, where she announced her desire for a divorce. Omichi explained that a water-drenched woman appeared by her bed each night, and that Oharu also saw her and cried out "Fumi has come." Exhausted from worry and sleeplessness, Omichi had complained to her husband, but his lack of response had led to her desire for a divorce.
To ascertain the facts, Matsumura asked Uncle K, his friend who lived nearby, to investigate. When his investigation did not produce results, Uncle K consulted with Hanshichi, a Kanda-based private detective. Hanshichi was able to solve the mystery instantly. ("The Ghost of Ofumi")
GENRE: Period fiction / Mystery