1872-1939. Playwright and writer. After graduating from Tokyo Furitsu Junior High School, he tried to become a playwright, but began writing stage reviews as a journalist for the Tokyo Nichinichi Shimbun newspaper (now the Mainichi Shimbun) from 1890 as a result of financial difficulties and started to use a pseudonym, Kyokido, which he later changed to Kido. In 1911, he gained popularity when the 2nd Ichikawa Danzaburo performed his play Shuzenji Monogatari (The Tale of Shuzenji), and he then went on to write such popular kabuki pieces as Toribeyama Shinju and Bancho Sarayashiki. His stories Hanshichi Torimonocho (The Hanshichi Detective Stories) inspired by Sherlock Holmes and known as Japan’s first detective stories.
- Association with Minato City
Hanshichi Torimonocho (The Hanshichi Detective Stories) was created from a friendship with an elderly person in Akasaka
Okamoto was born in Shibatakanawa as the first son of Keinosuke, a senior retainer of the Shogunate. After the Meiji Restoration, Keinosuke worked at the British Legation, which used to be in Shibatakanawa. During his budding journalist years, Kido paid frequent visits to an elderly person’s house in Akasaka, who became the inspiration for Hanshichi later on, and the various episodes that he heard from the man became the base for Hanshichi Torimonocho (The Hanshichi Detective Stories) series. In the 69-volume series are stories that are reminiscent of the area of Minato City during the Edo period, such as “Tsu no Kuniya” (Kuniya of Tsu) based on the strange happenings around Akasaka Uratenma-cho; “Tojiname” (Chinese Candy) in which Hanshichi unravels mysteries set in the present Aoyama Street; “Yuya no nikai” (2nd Floor of the Bathhouse), which describes an incident at a bathhouse in Atagoshita; and “Neko Sodo” (Cat Incident), which mentions Daradara City in Shiba Daijingu.
Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (Japanese Biographic Dictionary) (Kodansha)
Hanshichi Torimonocho Oedo Aruki (Exploring the Edo of Hanshichi Detective Stories) (Kiichiro Okada / Kawade Shobo Shinsha)
Tokyo 10000-po Walking No.7 ) (Tokyo 10,000-Step Walk) (Written and edited by Noriko Kagotani / Shinju Shoin)
The tomb of Kido Okamoto and wife (2-32-2 Minamiaoyama, Aoyama Reien)
Hanshichi Torimonocho (The Hanshichi Detective Stories) (Kodansha Bunko)
Shuzenji Monogatari (The Tale of Shuzenji) (kobunsha Bunko)
Lamp no shita nite (Under the Lamp) (Obunsha Bunko)
Edo no omoide (Memories of Edo) (Kawade Bunko)
“Hanshichi Torimonocho” Oedo Saijiki (The Hanshichi Detective Stories - Great Edo’s Record of Events) (Kingo Imai / Chikuma Bunko)
Hanshichi Torimonocho Oedo aruki (Exploring the Edo of the Hanshichi Detective Stories) (Kiichiro Okada / Kawade Shobo Shinsha)
Hanshichi wa jitsuzai shita (Hanshichi was a Real Person) (Kingo Imai / Kawade Shobo Shinsha)
Kawade Yume Mukku Bungei Bessatsu ? Okamoto Kido (Kawade Dream Mook Literary Supplement) (Kawade Shobo Shinsha)