Naomi Azuma

Naomi Azuma 東直己

Naomi Azuma  (1956–)  was born in Sapporo. He dropped out of Hokkaido University, where he majored in philosophy, and worked in construction, bill posting, and as an editor of small local magazines until 1992, when he published the first of his "handyman" series, Tantei wa ba ni iru (Barroom Detective), a novel about a crime-solving odd-jobber. He has written numerous novels of the hardboiled genre set in Hokkaido, including a series about a professional private detective and another featuring an ex-yakuza who "ties up loose ends" after crimes. In 2001 Zanko (Afterglow) won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award. Considerable buzz was generated by Sapporo Keimusho yonhaku gonichi taikenki (Four Nights and Five Days in Sapporo Prison), his 1994 real-life account of several days behind bars. The 1993 novel Ba ni kakatte kita denwa (Phone Call to the Bar) was made into a movie which reignited sales of his back catalogue.