Kazushige Abe 阿部和重
Kazushige Abe (1968–) is a graduate of the Japan Academy of Moving Images. He took up novel writing after learning how to craft film scenarios and write film criticism. In 1994 his debut novella, Amerika no yoru (American Night), won the Gunzo Prize for New Writers, also garnering a nomination for the Akutagawa Prize and critical acclaim for Abe's mastery at combining serious literature and entertainment. His 1997 novel Indivijuaru purojekushon (Individual Projection) won him a youthful readership and vaulted him into the ranks of the day's leading writers. In 2004 his novella Gurando finare (Grand Finale) took the Akutagawa Prize. More than four years in the writing, his full-length novel 2003 Shinsemia (Sinsemilla) introduced Jinmachi, a district in Abe's native Yamagata Prefecture city of Higashine, as its setting; it won the Ito Sei Prize and the Mainichi Publishing Culture Award. Other works include Nipponia Nippon (2001), Misuteriasu settingu (Mysterious Setting, 2006), Kuesa to 13-ban-me no hashira (Quasar and the 13th Pillar, 2012), and Pisutoruzu (Pistils, 2010), which also takes place in Jinmachi and won the Tanizaki Jun'ichiro Prize.