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The winners of the prestigious Akutagawa and Naoki literary awards were selected Wednesday, with two novelists earning acclaim for their respective works about the past and present lives of a family in Kyushu and the history of the indigenous Ainu ethnic group in the north.

Makoto Furukawa, 31, won the Akutagawa Prize for up-and-coming authors for his novel “Seitaka Awadachiso” (“Tall Goldenrod”), while Soichi Kawagoe, 41, got the Naoki Prize for popular fiction for “Netsu Gen” (“Heat Source”), the selection committee said.

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