But will this catch on over here?
Faithful reproductions of popular detective story writer Edogawa
Rampo’s trademark glasses went on sale Sunday, marking the writer’s
The launch of the glasses was the brainchild of Yohei Kusanagi, 31,
a Tokyo design company president, who wants young people to get more
interested in literature through the sale of replica memorabilia.
Kentaro Hirai, the 57-year-old grandson of the writer, supervised
the project. Hirai still has the very glasses worn by his grandfather.
Edogawa Rampo (1894-1965) is known as the godfather of the Japanese
detective novel. His writing pseudonym was based phonetically on the
name of U.S. author Edgar Allan Poe. Edogawa wrote a popular series of
short stories featuring the detective character Kogoro Akechi, among
them “Ningen Isu” (The Human Chair) and “Yaneura no Samposha” (A Walker
in the Attic). After World War II, Edogawa established the predecessor
to the current Mystery Writers of Japan, Inc., contributing much to the
development of mystery writing in Japan.
His glasses, the bottom of which are rimless, have bifocal lenses
and a rounded tortoiseshell frame. The writer’s signature is printed on
one of the bows.
Only 100 pairs of the Rampo glasses will be available. And it begs the question: what one piece of memorabilia by a famed American or British mystery writer could inspire a similar idea?