Inoue, Yasushi (b. May 6, 1907, Asahikawa, Japan--d. Jan. 29, 1991, Tokyo)
Japanese novelist known for his historical fiction, notably Tempyo^O no iraka (1957; The Roof Tile of Tempyo^O), which depicts the drama of 8th-century Japanese monks traveling to China and returning with Buddhist texts and other artifacts.
Inoue was literary editor of the Mainichi shimbun newspaper for 12 years except for a brief period of military service in northern China in 1937, when he became fascinated by China and its history. His first work, Ryo^Oju (1949; The Hunting Gun), about loneliness in the modern world, attracted critical acclaim; it was followed by To^Ogyu (1949; "The Bullfight"), which secured his reputation. Among his many other successes was the novel Tonko^O (1959; Tun-huang), which re-creates 11th-century China and centers on the Buddhist treasures hidden in the Dunhuang caves, and an autobiographical narrative, Waga haha no ki (1975; Chronicle of My Mother), a moving and humorous account of his mother's decline.