Mitsuyo Kakuta

Mitsuyo Kakuta - placeholder book cover

Mitsuyo Kakuta set her sights on becoming a writer from an early age. Her debut novel—Kofuku na yugi ('A Blissful Pastime'), written while she was a university student—received the Kaien Prize for New Writers in 1990. She has been working continuously as a writer ever since, never having had to support herself with a separate job. Three nominations for the Akutagawa Prize serve as a measure of the promise with which she was regarded from early in her career. Then, at the encouragement of an editor, she shifted toward the entertainment end of the literary spectrum, where she garnered a much broader readership with works depicting the lives of women in her generation, from their mid-thirties to forties. After publishing two brilliant novels in 2002, Ekonomikaru paresu ('Economical Palace') and Kuchu teien ('Hanging Garden'), she went on to win the Naoki Prize for the second half of 2004 with Woman on the Other Shore (tr. 2007). Her successes continued with The Eighth Day (tr. 2010), which received the 2007 Chuo Koron Literary Prize and was made into a televised drama series as well as a movie; the book sold more than a million copies, vaulting her into the ranks of Japan's best-selling authors. In 2012 she added to her list of honors by earning the Shibata Renzaburo Award for her novel Kami no tsuki ('Paper Moon'), and the Izumi Kyoka Prize for her volume of short stories Kanata no ko ('The Children Beyond').

Books by Mitsuyo Kakuta