Akiko Akazome

Akiko Akazome 赤染晶子

Akiko Akazome  (1974–)  was born in Kyoto. She became interested in German when she saw news coverage of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and went on to major in the language at the Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, whose rigorous academic environment she vividly re-created in the novella Otome no mikkoku (The Maidens' Betrayal). Akazome attended graduate school at Hokkaido University with the intention of becoming an academic, but turned to a career in fiction instead. She marked her debut by winning the 2004 Bungakukai Prize for New Writers with the short story Hatsuko-san, and continued to produce mostly short stories before receiving the 2010 Akutagawa Prize for Otome no mikkoku. Most of Akazome's works are set in Kyoto and deal humorously with the absurdity of everyday existence. On the occasions of her Bungakukai and Akutagawa wins she pledged to "write until I drop."

Books by Akiko Akazome
  • Book

    The Maidens’ Betrayal

    The "maidens" of this novella are the all-female students of a German speaking class taught by a male instructor, Professor Bachmann, at a foreign studies university in Kyoto. The class is preparing for a speech contest, and to Mikako and her fellow parti …