Nahoko Uehashi 上橋菜穂子
Nahoko Uehashi (1962–) was born in Tokyo and graduated from Rikkyō University. A scholar of cultural anthropology as well as an author of children’s books, she holds a special professorship in the Faculty of Education at Kawamura Gakuen Women’s University. Her literary debut came in 1989 with the science-fiction fantasy Seirei no ki (The Sacred Tree). In 1991 she was awarded the JAWC New Talent Award for Tsuki no mori ni, kami yo nemure (O God of the Moon Forest, Sleep), bringing her into the spotlight as a writer of fantasies based on ancient Japanese mythology. In 1996 she published the historical fantasy Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit (tr. 2008), which became a huge hit. The work won the Noma Prize for New Writers of Children's Literature and the Sankei Children’s Book Nippon TV Award, while the English version won the 2009 Mildred Batchelder Award for best translated fiction. It generated an extended series of Moribito titles that has won numerous additional awards. In 2004, Koteki no kanata (Beyond the Fox Whistle), set in ancient Japan, garnered the Noma Prize for Children's Literature, and in 2014 Uehara received the international Hans Christian Andersen Award for her “lasting contribution to children’s literature”. Among her other best-selling works is the Kemono no sōja (The Beast Player; 2006–) series. She has a large following among adults as well as children.