152nd Akutagawa and Naoki Prizes announced (January 15, 2015)
The 152nd Akutagawa Prize has been won by Ono Masatsugu for Kyūnen-mae no inori (Nine Years and a Prayer, published in the September 2014 edition of Gunzō). The 152nd Naoki Prize will go to Nishi Kanako for Saraba! (So Long!, published by Shōgakukan). The presentation ceremony will be held in Tokyo in mid-February.
Death of Kōno Taeko (January 25, 2015)
Novelist Kōno Taeko died today of respiratory failure at a hospital in Tokyo. Tomioka, who was born in Osaka, moved to Tokyo in 1952 and won the Akutagawa Prize in 1963 for her story Kani (Crab). She served on the selection committee for the same award from 1987 to 2006. Kōno was 88 years old.
The first Hayashi Fumiko Award for Literature announced (January 29, 2015)
The first winner of the newly established Hayashi Fumiko Award for Literature is Ioka Michiko, for her short story Tsugi no hito (Next in Line). The presentation ceremony will be held in Kitakyūshū City on February 28. The Hayashi Fumiko Award was established to recognize new writers, and in this first year over 1,600 applicants submitted manuscripts for consideration. Ioka's story will be published in the April 14 edition of Fujin Kōron.