Authors

Jirō Asada

Jirō Asada 浅田次郎

Jirō Asada  (1951–)  joined Japan's Self-Defense Forces upon graduating from high school, professedly to find out why famed author Yukio Mishima had committed suicide. After his discharge, he sold women's apparel while writing on the side, until abruptly thrusting himself into the literary limelight by launching two hit picaresque series in succession in 1992 and 1993: Kinpika (All That Glitters, 3 parts) and Purizun hoteru (Prison Hotel, 4 parts). He received the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers in 1995 for Metoro ni notte (On the Metro); the Naoki Prize in 1997 for The Stationmaster (tr. 2009); and the Shibata Renzaburo Award in 2000 for the historical novel Mibu gishi den (When the Last Sword is Drawn). In 2006 his collection of short stories set in the late Edo period, Ohara meshimase (Slit Your Belly), won both the Chuo Koron Literary Prize and the Shiba Ryotaro Prize; in 2008, Chugen no niji (Rainbow over China) won the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for Literature; and in 2010, his World War II novel Owarazaru natsu (Endless Summer) garnered the Mainichi Publishing Culture Award. He has attained a position as one of Japan's leading authors, producing bestseller after bestseller across the full spectrum of entertainment fiction?long and short, contemporary and historical. He became president of the Japan P.E.N. Club in 2011.

Books by Jirō Asada
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    Rainbow over China

    A sweeping, colossal epic painting the final chaotic days of the Qing dynasty between 1907 and 1916. Empress Dowager Cixi is holding Guangxu, the eleventh emperor of the Manchurian Qing Dynasty, under house arrest. It is she who wields the real power, but …

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    When the Last Sword Is Drawn

    Set in the turbulent times leading up to the Meiji Restoration, when power was returned from the Tokugawa military government in Edo to the imperial court in Kyoto, the novel centers on the activities of the Shinsengumi, a group made up largely of masterl …

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    Happy Retirement

    In 1951, after the dismantling of the zaibatsu conglomerates that had dominated Japan's economy through World War II, a financial organ known as JAMS (the All-Japan Medium and Small Companies Organization) was created by order of the Allied occupation aut …

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    Endless Summer

    Set in Japan in July 1945 at the end of World War II, this lengthy novel looks at war from the perspective of the common citizen. With signs of Japan's impending defeat growing clearer by the day, Naoya Kataoka is surprised to receive a draft notice. Born …

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    On the Metro

    Shinji Konuma works for a small apparel maker as a sales rep. One day on his way to the Metro that runs beneath the streets of Tokyo, he passes through a time warp that takes him from the 1990s back to 1964, when the city is caught up in the hoopla surrou …

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    Mr. Tsubakiyama's Seven Days

    Manager Kazuaki Tsubakiyama, 46, dies of overwork the night after the opening day of a major sale at the department store where he works. Claiming unfinished business, he appeals to the authorities in the afterlife and is given permission to briefly retur …

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    Seance Nights

    In this story set in contemporary Japan, author Jiro Asada takes his inspiration from the seances that were so popular in 19th-century England. The season is autumn and the place is the resort area at the foot of Mount Asama. The first-person narrator, a …

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    Prison Hotel 1: Summer

    Protagonist Konosuke Kido is a popular author who hit the big time with a novel about the yakuza underworld. When he attends Buddhist services to mark the sixth anniversary of his father's death, he meets his uncle Nakazo, with whom he has had no contact …

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