The Global Studies Seminar presents a talk titled “Matsumoto Seicho and “Japan’s Black Fog:” Turning Malfeasance into Popular Fiction,” by Michael Stone Tangeman, associate professor of japanese at Denison.
Tangeman also works as a translator of mystery fiction and owns the Sixteen Paws of Terror (AKA TheFurry Flurry).
Matsumoto Seicho (1909-1992) spent the last four decades of his life writing in numerous genres on the danger of powerful institutions corrupting the unscrupulous. His work is often dark and, if not nihilistic, then replete with a sense of impending futility. 110 years after his birth, he remains remarkably popular, with astronomical book sales, and new television and film adaptations based on his work appearing every year. So why were his works so popular that he was able to publish over 700 novels, short stories, and essays, earn enough from sales to pay more in taxes than any other Japanese writer, and even enough to start his own movie studio?