Otaro Maijo 舞城王太郎
Otaro Maijo (1973–) is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. With the exception of frequent references to being born and raised in Fukui, a city on the Japan Sea, nothing is known about him, and he has never appeared in public. He won the Mephisto Award in 2001 with Kemuri ka tsuchi ka kuimono (Smoke, Soil or Sacrifice), a fast-paced and highly original mystery. While continuing to produce novel-length mysteries, he also began placing shorter works in literary magazines. Ashura garu (An Asura-Girl in Love) was awarded the Mishima Yukio Prize in 2003, and he has been nominated three times for the Akutagawa Prize. While mysteries that address present-day mores are the cornerstone of his output, he remains an original creative force, daringly incorporating elements of science fiction and fantasy into his work. Other novels of his include 2004's Suki suki daisuki cho-ai shite iru (I Love You! I Love You! I'm Crazy About You!) and 2008's Disuko tantei suiyobi (Wednesday of the Disco Detective). His short-story collection Tanpen gobosei (Short-Story Pentagram) was published in 2012.