Kenzo Kitakata

Kenzo Kitakata 北方謙三

Kenzo Kitakata  (1947–)  spent his college days striving to become a writer while also participating in the student movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Although he published his debut work, the novella Akarui machi e (Toward the Bright City), in a magazine in 1970 while still in school, his subsequent career in literary fiction met with little success. In 1981 he changed tack and produced the hardboiled novel Chosho harukanari (The Distant Tolling of Funeral Bells), which brought him instant acclaim in that genre. Two years later Nemurinaki yoru (Sleepless Night) won the Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prize and the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers; this was followed by the Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 1985 for Kawaki no machi (City of Thirst). In 1989 Kitakata ventured into historical fiction with Buo no mon (The House of the Warrior King), a novel set in Japan during the 14th-century Northern and Southern Courts period. Shifting later to the Asian continent, he completed Sangokushi (The Three Kingdoms) and Suikoden (Outlaws of the Marsh), two epic, singular retellings?running to no fewer than 13 and 19 volumes respectively?of the Chinese classics. As this impressive output demonstrates, Kitakata remains a writer of overwhelming drive whose fame has done nothing to take the edge off his vitality.

Books by Kenzo Kitakata
  • Book

    The Cage

    A master of the form, Kenzo Kitakata basically invented the hard-boiled mystery novel in Japan, and The Cage is widely regarded to be his signature best. As riveting as it is harsh and violent, the story takes us inside the life of a gangster gone strai …