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The winners for two prestigious Japanese literary prizes were announced on Wednesday, according to The Japan Times and The Japan Daily Press.

Kaori Fujino won the Akutagawa Award for “Tsume to Me” (爪と目, Nails and Eyes), which was published in the April 2013 issue of the literary magazine Shinchō (新潮).  The work describes a man’s lover through the eyes of his three-year-old child.  Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

Shino Sakuragi received the Naoki Prize for her short story collection Hotel Royal (ホテルローヤル), which depicts the lives of those connected to a love hotel in Kushiro, Hokkaido.  The book was published by Shueisha (集英社), ASIN B00DLQ14RS, and is available through amazon.co.jp, including a Kindle edition.

Of course, these are recent publications and haven’t yet been translated into English.  But it’s still interesting to know what’s happening on Japan’s literary scene, and you can always try your hand at reading the Japanese (ganbatte — good luck!).

Both the Akutagawa Award and Naoki Prize are sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Literature and are awarded semi-annually.  The Akutagawa Award was founded in 1935 in memory of Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, who’s considered to be the father of the Japanese short story.  The Naoki Prize is named after early 20th century writer Sanjugo Naoki.

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Update, July 21, 2013

Tsume to Me will be released in book form on July 26th.  It’s now available for pre-order through amazon.co.jp.