But will this catch on over here?

To commemorate the birth date of famed Japanese mystery writer Edogawa Rampo, one man came up with an unusual idea, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun:

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?