Ko Machida 町田康
Ko Machida (1962–) has had an unusual career trajectory, to say the least. Inspired by the Sex Pistols, he made himself lyricist and vocalist of his own punk-rock band, Inu, while still in high school. After seeing the group through its major debut and eventual dissolution, he continued to sing and act while also gaining recognition as a poet with the publication of his 1992 anthology Kuge (Offering of Flowers). In 1996 his first story, Kussun Daikoku (Weeping Daikoku), appeared in a magazine, earning him an Akutagawa Prize nomination and prompting him to focus primarily on prose fiction. Although initially noted for tales—including the Akutagawa Prize-winning novella Kiregire (Shreds, 2000)—told in the voices of aimless and idiosyncratic male characters, he has since broadened his range to include everything from true-crime novels like Kokuhaku (Confession, 2005) to fantastical samurai yarns.