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Natsuko Kuroda (黒田 夏子, Kuroda Natsuko, born 1937) is a Japanese writer. At age 75 she won the 148th Akutagawa Prize, making Kuroda the oldest winner in the history of the prize.

Natsuko Kuroda
Native name
黒田 夏子
Born1937 (age 81–82)
Tokyo, Japan
ResidenceTokyo, Japan
Alma materWaseda University
GenreFiction, short story
Notable worksa b sango
Notable awards



Kuroda was born in 1937 in Tokyo and attended Waseda University.[1] While at Waseda University she started the journal Sajo (Sandcastles), where she published her fiction.[2] She graduated from Waseda University with a degree in Japanese, then worked various jobs as a teacher, administrator, and copy editor while continuing to write fiction.[3] In 1963 her story "Kami" ("God") won the 63rd Yomiuri Shimbun Short Story Newcomer Prize.[4]

For decades Kuroda wrote stories that were published but did not win recognition in the form of literary awards.[1][5] In 2012, nearly fifty years after her previous literary award, Kuroda won the Waseda Bungaku new writer competition for her experimental story a b sango, which was written mostly in hiragana rather than kanji, composed horizontally rather than vertically, and used no names or pronouns.[6] The next year a b sango won the 148th Akutagawa Prize, making Kuroda, at age 75, the oldest winner in the prize's history.[7] The Akutagawa Prize committee was not unanimous in its decision, but committee members commended Kuroda's experimental style.[8] In 2013 her story Kanjutai no odori, which she had written many years before a b sango, was published in book form.[5]



Books in JapaneseEdit

  • Ruiseitai meijaku, Shinbisha, 2010, ISBN 9784788331365
  • a b sango, Waseda Bungakkai, 2013, OCLC 862829243
  • Kanjutai no odori : sanbyakugojūban, Bungeishunjū, 2013, ISBN 9784163828404

Selected work in EnglishEdit

  • "From Ball", translated by Angus Turvill, Comparative Critical Studies, 2015[11]
  • "Waymarkers", translated by Asa Yoneda, Words Without Borders, 2015[12]


  1. ^ a b 海老, 沢類 (March 10, 2014). "作家・黒田夏子(76)(1)この年齢になると何でもすごく気楽". Sankei News (in Japanese). Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  2. ^ "Authors: Natsuko Kuroda". Books from Japan. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "Contributor: Natsuko Kuroda". Words Without Borders. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "芥川賞候補に75歳・黒田夏子さん 受賞なら最年長". Sports Hochi. Yomiuri Shimbun. January 7, 2013. Archived from the original on January 9, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  5. ^ a b 「文學界」編集部 (January 8, 2014). "黒田夏子『感受体のおどり』著者インタビュー". Bunshun Online (in Japanese). Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "75歳の黒田夏子さん会見詳報 「生きているうちに見つけてくれてありがとう」". Sankei News (in Japanese). January 16, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Natsuko Kuroda, 75, becomes oldest Akutagawa literary award winner". The Japan Times. January 17, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "75歳が芥川賞受賞…シニア層 文学界に活気". Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). February 27, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  9. ^ "第24回早稲田文学新人賞 受賞作決定のお知らせ" (in Japanese). Waseda Bungaku Editorial Department. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  10. ^ "芥川賞受賞者一覧" (in Japanese). 日本文学振興会. January 1, 2018. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  11. ^ Kuroda, Natsuko. Translated by Turvill, Angus. "From Ball by Natsuko Kuroda". Comparative Critical Studies. 12 (1): 143–145. doi:10.3366/ccs.2015.0161.
  12. ^ Kuroda, Natsuko (March 1, 2015). "Waymarkers". Words Without Borders. Translated by Yoneda, Asa. Retrieved July 15, 2018.