Nicholas Bornoff, who has died of cancer aged 61, was probably more intimately acquainted with the peculiar world of Japanese strip and sex parlours than any other westerner alive, with one possible exception: the American professor of Japanese literature and translator of The Tale of Genji, Edward Seidensticker. These fellow aficionados of Tokyo low-life would often peer at one another across a variety of revolving stages upon which God knows what was taking place. When finally they were properly introduced, on the premises of the utterly respectable Tokyo foreign correspondents' club, Seidensticker murmured: "I believe we have certain interests in common."
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