Takahashi Wins Akutagawa Literature Award

Society Culture

Tokyo, July 19 (Jiji Press)--Hiroki Takahashi has won the 159th Akutagawa Prize, a prestigious literature award in Japan, for his "Okuribi," while Rio Shimamoto has been named as the winner of the Naoki Prize for her "First Love."

Takahashi, 38, was able to receive the prize on Wednesday after three nominations.

Okuribi--a fire to send off the spirits of the diseased--is a story about a boy who transferred to a junior high school in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, from Tokyo. Through the depiction of his being troubled by the class top dog, the story conveys the psychological friction sparked between members of a rural community and an outsider.

Yuko Hojo, 32, who was nominated for this time's Akutagawa Prize for her "Utsukushii Kao" (Beautiful Face), missed out on the award. The novel provoked discussions over problems with expressions in it being similar to those in existing books.

Meanwhile, Shimamoto, 35, won the Naoki Prize after being nominated once. She has been nominated four times for the Akutagawa Prize.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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