With my friends, Jimmy the Gorilla and Sky the Kid

I have been translating mystery fiction from English into Japanese for 20 years. I translated mystery fiction by Donald E. Westlake (DANCING AZTECS), Joseph Wambaugh (THE GLITTER DOME), Roger L. Simon (THE BIG FIX), Arthur Lyons (FAST FADE), Mark Schorr (RED DIAMOND, PRIVATE EYE), John Minahan (THE GREAT HOTEL ROBBERY), Gregory Mcdonald (FLYNN), Benjamin Schutz (EMBRACING THE WOLF), Anthony Bruno (BAD GUYS), Richard Bowker (DOVER BEACH), Michael Collins (FREAK), Bill Pronzini & Marcia Muller (DOUBLE), Edward D. Hoch (ENTER THE THIEF) and many many others.

I have also been reviewing mystery books--fiction and references--and writing columns for Japanese mystery magazines, both Hayakawa's Mystery Magazine and EQ, for a long time. Recently I started to write my own fiction--private eye stories. SEE VENICE AND DIE, out from Hayakawa Publishing, Tokyo in 1994, is a collection of short stories featuring Joe Venice, a New York private eye. He is a ordinary "Joe," except that he is half-Japanese. His mother is Japanese. He was born at an American military base in Sakai, just outside of Osaka, and grew up in Oklahoma City near Route 66. He worked at the better FBI (The Fred Browning Investigations). Anyway, he has his office on Nassau Street

Lawrence Block and Edward D. Hoch gave me gracious blurbs for the collection.

"Joe Venice is a worthy heir to Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. I think he and Matt Scudder would get along just fine!"--Lawrence Block

"It's a pleasure to meet Joe Venice, a New York private eye who recalls the glory days of the old Black Mask magazine. This is hardboiled mystery the way we like it!"--Edward D. Hoch

The other private eye is Sachinosuke Terada. He was born and raised in Osaka and went to Waseda University in Tokyo. Now he is in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, working for the Kashu Detective Agency. I wrote two novellas fearturing Terada for the regional magazine, and now try to rewrite them for the book publication.

Okay, do you still want to know who the heck Jiro Kimura is? I was born in Sakai, Osaka. (Now you know why Joe Venice was born there, too.) I stayed in Oklahoma City for a year. (Now you know why Joe Venice was brought up there.) I went to a university in New York. (Yes, you are right--to Pace University.) After graduation, I was still in New York, absorbing the exciting atmosphere. Then I returned to Japan in 1982.

I am a member of MWA, PWA and MWJ (the Mystery Writers of Japan). I founded the Japanese chapter of the Maltese Falcon Society in 1982 (it seems that only the Japanese chapter is still active, while the San Francisco and New York chapters seem inactive), and edited its newsletter, The Maltese Falcon Flyer, till 1988. I subscribe to a lot of mystery fanzines--The Armchair Detective, Deadly Pleasures, Hardboiled, Mystery Scene, A Shot in the Dark (from UK), Mean Streets (from Australia), Mystey & Detective Monthly, Myster Readers Journal, to name a few, in order to catch up with the mystery scene.

Now you know about me more than you would like to. If you have some questions about mystery matters or some hot info on fictional detectives' secrets, please let me know at jkimura (at) nsknet (dot) or (dot) jp.