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Writer Mobu wins Akutagawa Prize for 'Kaigo Nyumon'

Norio Mobu has won the 131st Akutagawa Prize, a prestigious literary award given to promising new writers, according to organizers.

Mobu’s debut work comes across as a soliloquy written to rap music rhythms, the organizers said.

Meanwhile, two other writers, Hideo Okuda and Tatsuya Kumagai, shared the 131st Naoki Prize, another top Japanese literary accolade, the organizers said Thursday. The prize for popular fiction is accorded to seasoned writers.

Mobu, a 33-year-old native and resident of Nara Prefecture, was cited for “Kaigo Nyumon” (“Introduction to Nursing Care”), printed in the June issue of Bungakukai, a monthly literary magazine.

“Kaigo Nyumon” tells the story of a marijuana and music addict who rants on about his hatred of the world while speaking of love for his grandmother, who suffers from dementia and is under his care.

Mobu, who graduated from the Osaka University of Arts, had earlier received the Bungakukai newcomers’ award for the piece.

Okuda, a 44-year-old Tokyo resident, won the Naoki Prize for “Kuchu Buranko” (“Flying Trapeze),” the same work that also got him the Yamamoto Literary Prize. It is the first time the two prizes have been given for the same work.

“Kuchu Buranko,” which was printed in the monthly Bungeishunju magazine, focuses on the unique character of a shrink and his ways.

Kumagai, a 46-year-old resident of Sendai, was recognized for “Kaiko no Mori” (“Woods of Encounter”), which was also published in Bungeishunju.

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