2006-04-04 17:42:52 UTC
TOKYO (AP) - Genzo Murakami, a Japanese novelist who became known for
popular historical novels in the 1940s, has died of heart failure,
Japanese news reports said Tuesday. He was 96.
Murakami died at a hospital in Tokyo on Monday, Kyodo News agency said.
Repeated phone calls to Murakami's home went unanswered. Born in 1910,
Murakami completed middle school in Tokyo and then studied under noted
Japanese playwright Shin Hasegawa before beginning his writing career.
After receiving the prestigious Naoki Prize for Kazusa Fudoki in 1940,
he wrote his bestselling novel, Sasaki Kojiro (1949-50) - a story of
rivalry between swordsmen Sasaki Kojiro and Miyamoto Musashi.
Murakami's other novels include Mohei - a story about a samurai warrior
battling against the Portuguese arsenal of guns and cannons in
17th-century Japan. Many of his novels, including Sakaki Kojiro and
Mohei, were converted into films.