Natsuko Kuroda, 75, becomes oldest Akutagawa literary award winner

Kyodo

Natsuko Kuroda won the Akutagawa award Wednesday for her work “ab Sango,” becoming the oldest winner, at age 75, in the almost 80-year history of the prestigious Japanese literary prize, the selection committee said.

Kuroda, a Tokyo native, graduated from Waseda University and worked as a teacher and a proofreader before winning the Waseda Bungaku rookie award last year for the same work.

Without using individual names or pronouns, “ab Sango” depicts the memories of a child whose life with a parent gradually crumbles. The work is written horizontally instead of vertically as Japanese is conventionally written.

The Akutagawa award, granted to up-and-coming writers, is presented semiannually. Kuroda will receive the award at a ceremony in Tokyo in mid-February and receive ¥1 million in prize money.