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Authors/Contributors

Japan

Hiromi Itō

Hiromi Itō (1955- ) emerged in the 1980s as the leading voice of Japanese women’s poetry with a series of sensational works that depicted women’s psychology, sexuality, and...

Kanako Nishi

Kanako Nishi was born in Tehran in 1977, and grew up in Cairo and Osaka. She made her debut as a writer in 2004 with Aoi (Blue). In 2007, her novel Tsutenkaku (Tower to Heaven)...

Yuri Komuro

Yuri Komuro is an associate professor of English at Chuo University in Japan. She has a PhD in lexicography and has worked for several English-Japanese dictionaries. 

Amy Yamada

Amy Yamada (1959-) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer. She made her literary debut with a short story," Bedtime Eyes," which won the Bungen Prize in 1985. She received the Naoki Prize...

Takako Arai

Takako Arai was born in 1966 in Kiryū, a city in central Japan known for textile production. Her father managed a small, cottage-style weaving factory located on the family property, and at...

Sayaka Ohsaki

Sayaka Ohsaki (1982-) was featured in the journal Yuriika (Eureka) as one of the newest rising stars of the Japanese poetic world.  She describes herself as a...

Toshiko Hirata

Toshiko Hirata (1955–) is a prominent Japanese poet and novelist.  During the 1980s, she, along with Itō Hiromi, emerged as one of the foremost voices of the so-called...

Keiichiro Hirano

Keiichiro Hirano, born in Aichi Prefecture in 1975 and raised in Kita-Kyushu, made his debut in 1999 with his first novel, Nisshoku (L’Eclipse), which was awarded the Akutagawa Prize. His...

Asa Yoneda

Asa Yoneda translates from Japanese with a preference for experimental writing and contemporary women’s writing.

Mitsuyo Kakuta

Mitsuyo Kakuta was born in 1967, in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. She graduated from Waseda University's School of Literature. In 1990, her debut novel Kōfuku na yūgi (A...

Kyoko Nakajima

Kyoko Nakajima (1964–)  loved books from a young age, perhaps not surprisingly, since her parents are both translators and scholars of French literature. She first produced...

Shun Medoruma

Shun Medoruma (born 1960) is one of the most important contemporary Okinawan writers. He was awarded the Akutagawa Prize in 1997 for his short story "A Drop of Water" (Suiteki).

Masashi Matsuie

Masashi Matsuie  (1958–)  graduated from Waseda University and went to work for the Shinchosha Publishing Company where, as a fiction editor, he handled such writers as Haruki...

Natsuko Kuroda

Natsuko Kuroda was born in Tokyo in 1937, and graduated from the Japanese department at Waseda University’s School of Education. After working as a teacher, an administrator, and a copy...

Mieko Kawakami

Mieko Kawakami (1976–)  was born in Osaka. Her first break was as a musician; she made her major-label debut in 2002 and went on to release three albums. Eventually she...

Toshiyuki Horie

Toshiyuki Horie (1964–), a scholar of French literature, is a professor at Waseda University. After producing several translated works, he made his debut as an author in 1995 with Kogai...

Hideo Furukawa

Hideo Furukawa, born in 1966, has published several novels, including Horses, Horses, in the Innocence of Light, LOVE (which won the Mishima Yukio Prize), Belka, Why...

Nao-Cola Yamazaki

Nao-Cola Yamazaki debuted in 2004 with the Bungei Award-winning novella Don’t Laugh at Other People’s Sex, which has since been adapted into a major motion picture. She has published over ten...

Ryuichiro Utsumi

Ryuichiro Utsumi was born in Nagoya in 1937 and grew up in Ichinoseki, Iwate. His debut novel, Setsudo nite, won the Bungakukai Prize for New Writers in 1969. He has been nominated for the...

Akino Kondoh

Born in Chiba, Japan, in 1980, Akino Kondoh is an artist, cartoonist, and animator known for her striking, minimalist compositions, often executed with nothing more than pencil and watercolor....

Michael Staley

Born in 1976, Michael Staley received a BA in Japanese and an MA in East Asian Languages and Literatures from the University of Colorado at Boulder, both in 2000 as part of a dual-degree...

Motoya Yukiko

Motoya Yukiko was born in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, in 1979. After graduating high school she moved to Tokyo to study to drama. In 2000 she started the Motoya Yukiko Theater Company, whose...

Wataya Risa

Born in 1984, Wataya Risa wrote her debut novel Install at age seventeen. It netted her the Bungei Prize, making her the youngest writer in history to receive the award. In 2004 she broke...

Yūko Tsushima

Yūko Tsushima (津島佑子; 1947–2016) began publishing novels, short stories, and essays in the early 1970s. The daughter of one of the foremost...

Suzumo Sakurai

Suzumo Sakurai was born in Hokkaido, Japan, in 1968. He held several jobs, including postman, waiter, and meter reader, after his graduation from Meiji Gakuin University with a degree in...

Chikako Kobayashi

Chikako Kobayashi is a Japanese-to-English translator who once almost got a job as a Japanese-English interpreter for Steven Seagal. Born to peripatetic parents and brought up in Hong Kong,...

Asa Nonami

A prolific writer of her own brand of sometimes gothic suspense, Asa Nonami is known for her strong women characters in a mystery genre frequently predominated by men. Nonami was born in 1960 in...

Yotsumoto Yasuhiro

Yotsumoto Yasuhiro was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1959 and grew up mostly in Hiroshima. His first book of poetry, A Laughing Bug, was published in 1991, followed by eight more collections in...

EnJoe Toh

EnJoe Toh won the 2012 Akutagawa Prize for "Dokeshi no cho" (The Clown's Butterfly).

Jin Keita

Jin Keita (b. 1981) is a psychiatrist living in Hokkaido. He started publishing fiction in 2010, and his stories have appeared in Monkey Business and Waseda Bungaku. "Kika" appeared in the 15th...

Nakai Hideo

Nakai Hideo was born in Tokyo in 1922. He was a tanka poet and a novelist. Along with Oguri Mushitarō’s Murder at Black Death Manor (1935) and Yumeno Kyūsaku’s Dogra Magra...

Nomura Kiwao

Nomura Kiwao studied Japanese literature at Waseda University and pursued doctoral studies in French literature at Meiji University. His works include over two dozen volumes of poetry and critical...

Kurahashi Yumiko

Kurahashi Yumiko (1935–2005) graduated from Maiji University with a degree in literature. She was awarded the Won Izumi Kyōka Prize for Literature for her  “Journey to...

Sakumi Tayama

Sakumi Tayama was born in Miyazaki Prefecture in southern Japan in 1966 but moved to the northernmost prefecture of Japan, Hokkaido, at the age of three.  After studying English literature...

Tanikawa Shuntaro

Tanikawa Shuntarō, born December 15, 1931 in Tokyo, Japan, is a Japanese poet and translator. He is one of the most widely read and highly regarded of living Japanese poets, both in Japan...

Nishikawa Miwa

Nishikawa Miwa’s work has gained critical acclaim in Japan and abroad, following her debut film, Wild Berries, and her second film, Sway, which premiered at Cannes in 2006. The only...

Dazai Osamu

Dazai Osamu (1909–48) is considered one of Japan’s greatest writers and was one of very few to consistently turn out entertaining work under the oppressive conditions of the Pacific...

Okamoto Kido

Okamoto Kido (1872–1939) was one of the most active authors in the kaiki revival. He was an enormously prolific writer and critic. In addition to his many kaiki shôsetsu, he wrote...

Motoyuki Shibata

Motoyuki Shibata teaches American literature and literary translation at the University of Tokyo. Authors he has translated include Edward Gorey, Paul Auster, Steve Erickson, Steven Millhauser,...

Hiroshi Yamamoto

Hiroshi Yamamoto was born in 1956 in Kyoto. He began his career with game developers Group SNE in 1987 and debuted as a writer and game designer. He gained popularity with juvenile titles such...

Kaho Nakayama

Kaho Nakayama was born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1960. She graduated from Waseda University. Nakayama led a theatrical troupe—acting, writing, and directing—before she made her literary...

Sogil Yan

Sogil Yan was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1936. He began writing after working various odd jobs and driving a taxi for over ten years. Yan has published dozens of books, several of which have been...

shinji ishii

shinji ishii was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1966. After studying French literature at Kyoto University, he moved to Tokyo, where he worked as a magazine editor before publishing his first book,...

Kawakami Hiromi

Kawakami Hiromi was born in 1958. Her awards include the 1996 Akutagawa Prize for Tread on a Snake, the 1999 Ito Sei Prize for Oboreru [To Drown], and the 2001 Tanizaki Jun'ichiro Prize, for...

Osamu Tezuka

Osamu Tezuka (1928–89) is the god of Japanese manga comics. He originally intended to become a doctor and earned his degree before turning to what was still then considered a frivolous...

Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1935, Yoshihiro Tatsumi began writing and drawing comics for a sophisticated adult readership in a realistic style he called "Gekiga." He has influenced...

Kanji Hanawa

Kanji Hanawa was born in Tokyo in 1936 and graduated from Tokyo University. A specialist in nineteenth-century French literature, he was until recently a professor at Tokyo's Kokugakuin...

Akiko Itoyama

Akiko Itoyama won the 2006 Akutagawa Prize for "Oki de Matsu," published here in its first English translation.

Natsuki Ikezawa

Natsuki Ikezawa is a novelist, poet, essayist, and translator of modern Greek poetry. Born in 1945, he is regarded as one of the best serious writers in Japan. Ikezawa studied physics as a young...

Yoko Tawada

Called “magnificently strange” by The New Yorker and frequently compared to Kafka, Pynchon, and Murakami, Yoko Tawada (b. 1960) is one of the most creative,...

Chiba Mikio

Chiba Mikio was born in 1944 in Miyagi prefecture, Japan. After working at a publisher of children's literature, he became a professor at Chiba University of Art, where for nine years he...

Fumiko Enchi

Fumiko Enchi (1905–1986) was a Japanese novelist and literary critic. The daughter of a well-known Japanese literary scholar, she first wrote for the theater, later turning to novels and...

Ryu Murakami

Ryu Murakami is the best-selling author of more than a dozen novels and the winner of Japan’s most prestigious literary award, the Akutagawa Prize. Many of his novels have been made into...
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