Prize-Winning Author Michiko Nagai Dies at 97

Society Culture

Tokyo, Feb. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japanese prize-winning author Michiko Nagai, known for her historical novels based on meticulous research, died of old age at a Tokyo hospital on Jan. 27, it was learned Thursday. She was 97.

Nagai, whose real name was Hiroko Kuroita, was born in Tokyo in 1925. After graduating from Tokyo Woman's Christian University, she joined publishing company Shogakukan Inc. in 1949.

While engaging in editorial work for magazines such as "Jogakusei no Tomo" (friend of female students) and "Mademoiselle," she began writing historical novels and participated in the "Kindai Setsuwa" (modern tales) coterie magazine with authors such as Ryotaro Shiba and Jugo Kuroiwa.

Nagai left Shogakukan in 1961 to focus on writing. In 1965, she won the prestigious Naoki Prize for her book "Enkan," which portrays samurais in the Kamakura period from the 12th to 14th centuries.

She won the Joryu Bungakusho (women's literature prize) in 1982 for "Hyorin," which depicts political strife in the eighth-century Nara period, the Kikuchi Kan Prize in 1984 for bringing a new style to historical novels set in medieval Japan, and the Yoshikawa Eiji Literary Prize in 1988.

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