Novel by Japan's Yu Wins U.S. National Book Award

Society Culture

New York, Nov. 18 (Jiji Press)--The English version of "JR Uenoeki Koenguchi" (Tokyo Ueno Station), a novel by Japanese author Miri Yu, won the U.S. National Book Award for Translated Literature on Wednesday.

"Finally I would like to share this joy with the people of Minamisoma, who are on a path of hardship after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster," Yu, 52, said in an award ceremony streamed on the website of the National Book Awards, one of the most prestigious literature prizes in the United States.

Since 2015, Yu has been living in Minamisoma in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima, which was hit hard by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

The award-winning novel was released in Japanese in 2014. It was translated by Morgan Giles and the English version, "Tokyo Ueno Station," hit store shelves last year.

The work depicts areas afflicted by the March 2011 disasters and Japanese society though the life of a man who shares the birthday with Japan's former Emperor Akihito, now the Emperor Emeritus, in 1933. The protagonist moves from Fukushima to Tokyo a year before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics to find work, loses his son and wife, and dies homeless.

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