Kanae Minato (湊かなえ, Minato Kanae, born 1973) is a Japanese writer of crime fiction and thrillers. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of Japan and the Honkaku Mystery Writers Club of Japan.[1][2]

Kanae Minato
Innoshima, Hiroshima, Japan
GenreCrime fiction, thriller
Notable awardsJapanese Booksellers Award (2009)
Mystery Writers of Japan Award (2012)


She started writing in her thirties. Her first novel Confessions became a bestseller and won the Japanese Booksellers Award.

In youth she was an avid fan of mystery novels of Edogawa Ranpo, Maurice Leblanc, Agatha Christie, Keigo Higashino, Miyuki Miyabe and Yukito Ayatsuji.[3]

She has been described in Japan as "the queen of iyamisu."[4] Iyamisu (eww mystery) is a subgenre of mystery fiction which deals with grisly episodes and the dark side of human nature. Readers blurt out "eww" when they are reading iyamisu novels. The term was created in 2006 by the mystery critic Aoi Shimotsuki.[5] There has been an iyamisu boom in Japan since around 2012. Kanae Minato, Mahokaru Numata and Yukiko Mari are regarded as representatives of the genre in Japan.[6][7] The back cover blurb of the Japanese edition of Gone Girl, published in June 2013, was "One of the best iyamisu novels from overseas."

The English edition of Minato's Confessions, published in August 2014, was described by a critic as "the Gone Girl of Japan."[8]

Wall Street Journal selected Confessions as one of the 10 best mysteries of 2014.[9]

Works in English translationEdit

  • Confessions (original title: Kokuhaku), trans. Stephen Snyder (Mulholland Books, 2014) ISBN 9780316200929, OCLC 883146317
  • Penance (original title: Shokuzai), trans. Philip Gabriel (Mulholland Books, 2017) ISBN 9780316349154, OCLC 956626339

Awards and nominationsEdit

Japanese Awards
U.S. Awards


Standalone novelsEdit

  • Kokuhaku (告白), 2008 (Confessions)
  • Shōjo (少女), 2009 (Girls)
  • Shokuzai (贖罪), 2009 (Expiation)
  • Enu no Tame ni (Nのために), 2010 (For N)
  • Yakō Kanransha (夜行観覧車), 2010 (The Night Ferris Wheel)
  • Hana no Kusari (花の鎖), 2011 (The Chain of Flowers)
  • Kyōgū (境遇), 2011 (Circumstances)
  • Shirayukihime Satsujin Jiken (白ゆき姫殺人事件), 2012 (The Snow White Murder Case)
  • Bosei (母性), 2012 (Motherhood)
  • Kōkō Nyūshi (高校入試), 2013 (An Entrance Examination for a High School)
  • Mame no Ue de Nemuru (豆の上で眠る), 2014 (Sleep on a Bean)
  • Yama Onna Nikki (山女日記), 2014
  • Monogatari no Owari (物語のおわり), 2014 (The End of the Story)
  • Zesshō (絶唱), 2015

Short story collectionsEdit

  • Ōfuku Shokan (往復書簡), 2010
  • Safaia (サファイア), 2012
  • Bōkyō (望郷), 2013

TV and film adaptationsEdit

Japanese films
Japanese TV dramas
  • Kyōgū (2011)
  • Penance (2012) (Shokuzai)
  • Kōkō Nyūshi (2012)
  • Yakō Kanransha (2013)
  • Hana no Kusari (2013)
  • N no Tame ni (2014)
  • Reverse (2017)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Kanae Minato (List of members)" (in Japanese). Mystery Writers of Japan, Inc. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  2. ^ "Members of the Honkaku Mystery Writers Club of Japan" (in Japanese). Honkaku Mystery Writers Club of Japan. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  3. ^ 作家の読書道 第113回:湊かなえさん - 作家の読書道 (in Japanese). WEB 本の雑誌. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  4. ^ “イヤミス”の女王 湊かなえの『贖罪』文庫が大人気 (in Japanese). Da Vinci News. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  5. ^ Shimotsuki, Aoi (January 2007). "Kono iyamisu ni furuero!" このイヤミスに震えろ!. Hon no Zasshi (in Japanese). 32 (1). ISSN 0385-4612.
  6. ^ "Yukiko Mari". J-Lit Center. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  7. ^ いや~な汗をかく小説「イヤミス」の魅力とは? (in Japanese). Bookstand. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  8. ^ Cha, Steph (August 8, 2014). "Kanae Minato's 'Confessions' hits its mark with a vengeance". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ "Best Books of 2014". Wall Street Journal. December 4, 2014.
  10. ^ YALSA announces 2015 Alex Awards | News & Press Center | American Library Association
  11. ^ Strand Critics Award Nominees Are Announced... | Mystery Center
  12. ^ The Shirley Jackson Awards » 2014 Shirley Jackson Awards Winners