Nahoko Uehashi 上橋菜穂子
Nahoko Uehashi (1962–) was born in Tokyo and graduated from Rikkyo University. She is a scholar of cultural anthropology as well as an author of children's books. 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), a fantasy based on ancient Japanese mythology that brought her into the spotlight. 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, its English edition received the 2009 Mildred A. Batchelder Award, and it was also turned into a TV animation series by Production I.G. In 2004, Koteki no kanata (Beyond the Fox Whistle) garnered the Noma Prize for Children's Literature. Kemono no soja (The Beast Player; 2006–), another fantasy set in a parallel universe, launched a tremendously popular continuing series that has sold a combined 1,820,000 copies of its four main titles and one additional spin-off volume; this work, too, was made into a TV animation series by Production I.G., and foreign rights have been sold to Germany, France, Sweden, Thailand, Korea, and Taiwan.