Salman Rushdie Attack Recalls Murder of His Japanese Translator

TOKYO — The attack on Salman Rushdie in western New York State on Friday prompted renewed interest in previous attacks on people connected to his 1988 novel, “The Satanic Verses,” including its Japanese translator, who was killed in 1991.

The translator, Hitoshi Igarashi, was stabbed to death at age 44 that July at Tsukuba University, northeast of Tokyo, where he had been teaching comparative Islamic culture for five years. No arrests were ever made, and the crime remains unsolved. Mr. Rushdie said at the time that news of Mr. Igarashi’s death had left him feeling “extremely distressed.”

Mr. Rushdie, 75, underwent hours of surgery after being stabbed and was put on a ventilator Friday evening, but by Saturday he had started to talk, according to his agent, Andrew Wylie.

Mr. Igarashi had translated “The Satanic Verses” for a Japanese edition that was published after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then the supreme leader of Iran, had ordered Muslims to kill the…

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This article was written by Hikari Hida and Mike Ives and originally published on