A Tribute to a Lost Legend

A Tribute to a Lost Legend

Last year the Tuttle Publishing and the field of Japanology as a whole lost one of its brightest scions, Boyé Lafayette De Mente. A prolific author of over 100 books about Asia, many of them with Tuttle, Boyé started his long journey as a decoding technician in post-WWII Japan. During the 50's he served in a variety of editorial positions at Japanese publications including The Japan Times and Far East Traveler.

His love of all things Asian shone through in his writings. Many of his works such as The Chinese Mind, The Korean Mind, Business Guide to Japan, Etiquette Guide to China, and Kata are still bestsellers today and are used in classrooms across the U.S., Asia and beyond.

Perhaps the image which best encapsulates the unconventional and fascinating life of Boyé Lafayette De Mente is the one on his Wikipedia page (pictured above). In it, he can be seen atop an amphibious vehicle with Australian explorer Ben Carlin in the year 1957. They had just completed the first ever amphibious crossing of the Pacific ocean and were enjoying some much-deserved admiration and, perhaps, a few puzzled looks from the local Tokyoites.