Obit on Retired Asia Executive Earnest Hoberecht from The New York Times

Here's The New York Times' UPI obit on retired Asia executive Earnest Hoberecht, who died Sept. 22, 1999:


By Douglas Martin

Published Sept. 26, 1999


Earnest Hoberecht, an American who became a major literary figure in Japan just after World War II on the strength of some romance novels he wrote in a matter of weeks, died Wednesday at an Oklahoma City hospital. He was 81.

He died of heart failure, his wife said.

Mr. Hoberecht (pronounced HO-bright), turned a Tokyo assignment as a correspondent and news executive for United Press International into an improbable literary success story by filling a void created by a ban on American books.

The ban was imposed by the United States Army out of fear that books like Sinclair Lewis's "Main Street" that were critical of American society might lead to Japanese derision of Americans, with possible political repercussions back home.

But by writing novels in English and having them immediately translated into Japanese, Mr. Hoberecht became, for a little over two years, the best-known, and virtually the only, American writer available in Japan as it rebuilt itself and its society under the Allied occupation.