• Kyodo

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Natsuko Kuroda won the Akutagawa award Wednesday for her work “ab Sango,” becoming the oldest winner, at age 75, in the almost 80-year history of the prestigious Japanese literary prize, the selection committee said.

Kuroda, a Tokyo native, graduated from Waseda University and worked as a teacher and a proofreader before winning the Waseda Bungaku rookie award last year for the same work.

Without using individual names or pronouns, “ab Sango” depicts the memories of a child whose life with a parent gradually crumbles. The work is written horizontally instead of vertically as Japanese is conventionally written.

The Akutagawa award, granted to up-and-coming writers, is presented semiannually. Kuroda will receive the award at a ceremony in Tokyo in mid-February and receive ¥1 million in prize money.

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