Yusho Takiguchi, Yukiko Motoya share Akutagawa Prize while Bumpei Aoyama wins Naoki Prize


Novelists Yusho Takiguchi and Yukiko Motoya have jointly won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for emerging authors, while Bumpei Aoyama has won the Naoki Prize for popular fiction.

Takiguchi, a 33-year-old native of Tokyo, won the 154th prize for his work “Shindeinai Mono” (“Those Who Are Not Dead”), about a large group of relatives remembering a man at his wake.

Motoya, a 36-year-old playwright and theater producer who hails from Ishikawa Prefecture, won for “Irui Konin Tan” (“Tales of Marriage to a Different Sort”). The humorous work describes a married couple whose faces come to resemble each other.

Motoya had been nominated for the prize three times in the past.

Aoyama — a 67-year-old native of Yokohama who began writing historical fiction in his 60s — was awarded the Naoki Prize for “Tsuma o Metoreba” (“Taking a Wife”), a collection of stories depicting a cross-section of society in the Edo Period.

The winners were announced Tuesday. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Tokyo in late February, with each carrying ¥1 million in prize money.

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

Nominations for both prizes are received twice a year.