National

Three novelists picked for Japan's Akutagawa and Naoki literary awards

Kyodo

Three novelists were selected Wednesday to receive the country’s prestigious Akutagawa and Naoki literary awards for their works that covered a range of contemporary and historical topics.

Takahiro Ueda and Ryohei Machiya won the Akutagawa Prize for up-and-coming authors, while Junjo Shindo won the Naoki Prize for popular fiction, the selection committees said.

In his novel “Nimuroddo” (“Nimrod”), the 39-year-old Ueda depicts relations between the advancement of science and humanism with a focus on cryptocurrency.

Machiya, 35, tells the tale of a struggling professional boxer in his novel “Ichi Raundo Ippun Sanju-yon Byo” (“1 round 1 minute 34 seconds”).

Ueda had failed to win the Akutagawa award in his two previous nominations, while Machiya was nominated for the prize for the first time last year.

Shindo, 41, won the Naoki Prize on his first nomination with the mystery novel “Takarajima” (“Treasure Island”), which depicts the lives of young people in Okinawa for 20 years through 1972, when the island reverted to Japanese control from the United States. He made his debut in 2008.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Tokyo in late February, with each author receiving ¥1 million.

The Akutagawa Prize was established in 1935 in memory of Japanese novelist Ryunosuke Akutagawa. The Naoki Prize, created the same year, was named after author Sanjugo Naoki.

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