Akutagawa, Naoki literary awards go to Shibasaki, Kurokawa

Kyodo

Novelist Tomoka Shibasaki has won the Akutagawa award for up-and-coming authors of pure literature and Hiroyuki Kurokawa will receive the renowned Naoki Prize for popular fiction, the selection committee said Thursday.

Shibasaki, a 40-year-old native of Osaka, won the 151st Akutagawa prize for “Haru No Niwa” (Spring Garden), which depicts the relationship between a woman who moves to Tokyo and her neighbor, who lives in a house the newcomer started coveting after seeing it in a photo book.

Shibasaki had been nominated for the Akutagawa four times before winning.

Kurokawa, a 65-year-old native of Ehime Prefecture, won the Naoki Prize for “Hamon” (Excommunication), the story of a gang member and a construction consultant who are trying to locate stolen money.

Kurokawa, who became a novelist after working as a high school art teacher, had been nominated six times and has won a number of other literary awards for his mystery books.

The awards will officially be presented at a ceremony in Tokyo in late August. Each writer will receive ¥1 million in prize money.

The Akutagawa award was founded in 1935 in memory of renowned novelist Ryunosuke Akutagawa, while the Naoki award is named after writer Sanjugo Naoki.