Japanese translator died a gory death for his work on Salman Rushdie book

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Author Sir Salman Rushdie, 75, who has been brutally stabbed by an attacker, was once strangely connected to a murder in 1991.

Mr Rushdie has been stabbed 15 times, at least once in the neck, in Chautauqua, New York, where he was due to give a speech at the Chautauqua Institution on Friday (August 12).

For years he was the victim of death threats and was a target on the hit list of Al-Qaeda – he was forced into hiding in 1988 after he published a book called The Satanic Verses which was banned in many countries.

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Sir Rushdie, who remains in hospital on a ventilator, went into hiding for nine years – but it wasn’t just him who was put in harm’s way by the provocative writing.

He was granted 24/7 protection by the British government but his translator wasn’t so fortunate.

On July 11, 1991, his Japanese translator Hitoshi Igarashi, 44, was stabbed to death near Tokyo outside his office at Tsukuba University.

His body was found by a caretaker with multiple stab wounds on his face, neck and hands.

Iragashi had studied in Iran in the past and was an assistant professor of comparative culture, writing the books "The Islamic Renaissance" and "Medicine and Wisdom of the East”.

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A briefcase of cash was found by his body, leading investigators to suspect it was related to his work on the Satanic Verses – no official motive was ever established.

Sir Rushdie was said to be "extremely distressed" by the death. Just days before Igarashi’s death another translator was also attacked.

The book’s Italian translator, Ettore Capriolo, was stabbed in Milan but survived the attack.

Then, in 1993, Norwegian translator William Nygaard was shot three times outside his home in Oslo. He survived but an arrest wasn’t made until 2018.

It is not known if these attacks are related.

Regarding the latest incident, Salman's representative, Andrew Wylie, said in a written statement: "The news is not good. Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged."

Three law enforcement sources identified the alleged attacker as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview New Jersey.

Major Eugene J Staniszewski, of the New York State Police, said: "On August 12 2022 at about 11am a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer.

"Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital."

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