Julie Otsuka

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Julie Otsuka
Language English
Nationality American
Ethnicity Japanese
Alma mater Yale University
Columbia University
Genre Historical fiction
Notable works When the Emperor was Divine The Buddha in the Attic
Relatives Michael Otsuka

Julie Otsuka is an award-winning Japanese American author. Otsuka is known for her historical fiction novels dealing with Japanese Americans.


Otsuka was born in 1962, in Palo Alto, California. Her father worked as an aerospace engineer, while her mother worked as a lab technician before she gave birth to Otsuka. Both of her parents were of Japanese descent, with her father being an issei and her mother being a nisei.[1] At the age of nine, her family moved to Palos Verdes, California. She has two brothers, one of whom, Michael Otsuka, is currently teaching at the London School of Economics.[2]

After graduating from high school, Otsuka attended Yale University, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984. She later graduated from Columbia University with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1999.[3][4] Her debut novel When the Emperor was Divine dealt with Japanese American internment during World War II. It was published in 2002 by Alfred A. Knopf. Her second novel, The Buddha in the Attic (2011), is about Japanese picture brides.

Otsuka lives in New York City.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]



  1. ^ Oh, Seiwoong (2010). Encyclopedia of Asian-American Literature. Infobase Publishing. p. 232. ISBN 978-1-4381-2088-1. 
  2. ^ Ciabattari, Jane (September 16, 2011). "Novelist Julie Otsuka talks about her new novel which follows the lives of Japanese picture brides coming to America in the 1920s—and her own families’ struggles here". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Julie Otsuka". University of the Pacific. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ Yackley, Rachel Baruch (March 24, 2007). "Family's experience colors novel about internment". Daily Herald (Paddock Publications). Retrieved July 16, 2012.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ "About Julie Otsuka". julieotsuka.com. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ Julie Otsuka - John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, http://www.gf.org/fellows/11058-julie-otsuka
  7. ^ "'When the Emperor was Divine'... and When Japanese Americans Were Rounded Up". Asia Society. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ "2003 Alex Awards". American Library Association. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Julie Otsuka wins PEN/Faulkner prize". Associated Press. March 26, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.  (subscription required)
  10. ^ "Past Winners of the David J. Langum Sr. Prizes". The Langum Charitable Trust. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  11. ^ "2012 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award"
  12. ^ "US writer Julie Otsuka wins Femina foreign novel prize". France24. November 6, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Albatros-Literaturpreis an Julie Otsuka und Katja Scholtz". Focus. 15 December 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2013.