Gen'ichiro Takahashi 高橋源一郎
Gen’ichiro Takahashi (1951–) was born in Hiroshima. He graduated from a nationally famous prep school and landed a place in Yokohama National University, but his involvement in the student movement led to his withdrawal. He worked in construction for about ten years, during which time he suffered from a kind of aphasia, and it was as a form of rehabilitation that he eventually tried his hand at fiction. In 1981 his debut work, Sayonara gyangu-tachi (Goodbye, Gangsters), received an honorable mention for the Gunzo New Writer Prize for Novel-Length Fiction. In 1988 he won the Mishima Yukio Prize for his novel Yuga de kansho-teki na Nihon yakyu (Japanese Baseball: Elegant and Sentimental). Drawing on material from literature both Eastern and Western as well as from manga and pornography, and displaying a penchant for both parody and pastiche, he has continued to be one of Japan’s leading postmodernists. The novel Nihon bungaku seisuishi (The Rise and Fall of Japanese Literature), based on the struggles of literary giants in the period when modern Japanese literature first took shape, garnered the Ito Sei Prize in 2002; and his collection of stories Sayonora Kurisutofa Robin (Goodbye, Christopher Robin) took the Tanizaki Jun’ichiro Prize in 2012. He is also known as a writer of incisive essays on current events, and as a commentator on horse racing.