We are pleased to announce that the debut work of one of Japan’s most well-known science fiction writers, Komatsu Sakyo, was located in the Prange Collection. Komatsu wrote this comic book, The Secret of Dr. Skeleton (Kaijin Sukereton Hakase)[Prange Call No. 479-088], in 1948 when he was a high school student. The book’s theme – a warning against misapplication of modern science and technology — was later the cornerstone of his bestseller, Japan Sinks, published in 1973. One of Komatsu’s fan readers discovered the book in the National Diet Library Digital Collection of Prange Collection books soon after it was uploaded in March 2014.
We are excited to see the tangible outcome of the NDL-Prange partnership to digitize the Prange Collection books and honored to play a part in finding this invaluable material. Nearly 14,000 books have been scanned to date. Who knows what other surprises are in store for us? We look forward to further collaboration with NDL to make all of the books accessible to the public in the hope of another thrilling discovery among the Prange Collection’s treasures.
The discovery made headlines in newspapers across Japan, including The Japan Times.