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Named after a prominent early 20th-century playwright, author and translator, and presented annually by the Hakusuisha publishing house since 1955, the Kishida Kunio Drama Award is indisputably Japan’s top honor for writers of plays premiered the year before.

As the same person can only win the accolade once, scooping a Kishida has also long been regarded as a rite of passage for ambitious young writers, with most winners being in their 20s.

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