Donald Keene, lauded scholar of Japanese literature, dies at 96
Japan Times -- Feb 25
Prominent U.S.-born Japanese literature scholar Donald Keene, who introduced a roster of talented writers from Japan to the world, died of cardiac arrest at a Tokyo hospital on Sunday. He was 96.

Keene obtained Japanese citizenship in 2012 after seeing the struggle faced by those hit by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami disasters that devastated coastal regions of Tohoku.

He became close friends with a number of Japanese authors and scholars, including the late novelist Yukio Mishima, Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata and writer Junichiro Tanizaki.

Considered a giant among scholars who studied Japanese literature and culture, Keene published hundreds of books in English, Japanese and several European languages, including his multivolume history of Japanese literature - written over nearly two decades.

His translations included both classic and contemporary works, including numerous noh plays and modern novels.

Born in New York in 1922, Keene became fascinated with Japanese literature at age 18 after he read an English translation of "The Tale of Genji" at Columbia University.

日本文学研究の第一人者として知られ、文化勲章を受章したドナルド・キーンさんが24日朝に心不全のため、東京都内の病院で亡くなりました。96歳でした。 ニューヨーク生まれのキーンさんは英訳された「源氏物語」から日本文学に関心を持ち、京都大学大学院に留学しました。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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