Kenjiro Haitani 灰谷健次郎
Kenjiro Haitani (1934–2006) was born in Kobe. After graduating from the Osaka University of Arts he worked as a grade-school teacher for 17 years, and during this period helped edit the children's poetry magazine Kirin (Kylin). After giving up teaching, he made his debut as a professional children's writer in 1974 with A Rabbit's Eyes (tr. 2005), which won the JAWC New Talent Award and became a million-seller. In 1979 he received the Robo-no-Ishi Literary Award for Taiyo no ko (Children of the Sun). Readers are drawn to his portrayals of children as brave and strong in spite of their vulnerability, and his stories are much admired for their gentleness.