In Memory of Kozo Yamamura (1934 - 2017)

With sadness, we announce the passing of Kozo Yamamura author, friend, college classmate.

Kozo was a world-class scholar and amazingly prolific, writing or editing more than 20 books and scores of articles on the Japanese economy and its history, and the nature of capitalism.

His works included The Postwar Economic Policy of Japan (1967), (co-edited with Yasukichi Yasuba) the first of a three-volume survey of The Political Economy of Japan (1987), and a number of other specialized texts. After retirement, however, he turned to writing thrillers with his wife Susan B. Hanley, under the pen name of Michael S. Koyama, as a way of reaching wider audiences with his core economic messages and warnings. His final book, published earlier this year, was the polemic Too Much Stuff: Capitalism in Crisis. His books have been published in English, Japanese, German, and Chinese.

Kozo survived an extraordinarily dramatic childhood to become an expert on Japanese economic history (The Boy who Defied His Karma - Mutual Publishing (2011) is his life story). He was born in Bangkok, Thailand, in August 1934. His Thai mother died giving birth and his Japanese father was caught spying for the British during World War II, and subsequently executed. As a result, Kozo grew up in an orphanage in Tokyo but ran away at the age of 12 and was rescued in Kobe from near-starvation by a young black marketeer. Although he had no earlier formal education, he was accepted at the prestigious Ashiya High School, was top of his class (1953) and passed the entrance exam to attend the University of Tokyo. He came to the United States on a scholarship in 1953 after living for a decade in war-torn Japan. He earned a B.A., completed a tour in the U.S. Army, and went on for a doctorate in economics. During his career as an economist, he served as a chaired university professor and also as a consultant to the Department of the Treasury and Commerce and the Council of Economic Advisors to the President.

After retirement, he spent his time living between Switzerland and Hawaii. He is survived by his beloved wife, Susan Hanley.

 

From Acknowledgment to The Boy Who Defied His Karma

 

.....Bennett Hymer, publisher of Mutual Publishing, agreed to publish this fictionalized autobiography, a genre of books for which a good publisher is hard to find.

 

Like many of the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction stories in this book, when I approached Bennett at his Kaimuki office, I was unaware he had been a graduate school classmate decades earlier!

 

- Kozo Yamamura

Click here to order The Boy Who Defied His Karma

 


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