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|Nahoko Uehashi (上橋 菜穂子 Uehashi Nahoko )|
|Notable work(s)||Guardian of the Sacred Spirit (Seirei no Moribito)|
|Notable award(s)||Noma Children's Literature award, Sankei Children's Culture and Publishing award, Mildred L. Batchelder Award (2009)|
Nahoko Uehashi (上橋 菜穂子 Uehashi Nahoko ) (born July 15, 1962 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese writer, most famous for the "Guardian" (守り人 moribito ) series, which sold over 1.5 million copies in Japan. One of her novels, Guardian of the Sacred Spirit (Seirei no Moribito) has been adapted into an anime television series, a manga, and a radio drama. The same book was published in English from Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic in the summer of 2008, under the title Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, and awarded Mildred L. Batchelder Award in 2009. The sequel, "MORIBITO II: Guardian of the Dark" came out in the summer of 2009. Her recent book, "Kemono no Souja" will be translated into German, Korean, Thai and French and is being translated into Swedish. The same series has also been adapted into a manga in 2008 and an anime in 2009.
She is an author of juvenile literature, mostly fantasy. Uehashi is also a professor teaching ethnology (especially the Australian Aborigines) at a Japanese University, Kawamura Gakuen Women's University, and having completed a PhD focusing on Australian Aborigines.
Uehashi's career as a writer started in 1989 when she was a university student. Her first book was "Spirit's Tree" (精霊の木 seirei no ki ). She then wrote the novel "O God, Sleep Ye in The Forest of Moon" (月の森にカミよ眠れ tsuki no mori ni kami yo nemure ). This novel received an award from the Japanese Association of Writers for Children, which made her one of the famous Japanese-fantasy authors. In 1996, she published the first book of her "Moribito" series, Guardian of the Sacred Spirit (精霊の守り人 Seirei no Moribito ). The novel received the Noma Children's Literature award and the Sankei Children's Culture and Publishing award. In 1999, Uehashi published the second book of the Moribito Series, Guardian of the Darkness (闇の守り人 Yami no Moribito ). With this novel she again received the Japanese Association of Writers for Children's award. In 2002 The Guardian series won the Iwaya Sazanami literature award, and in 2003, Guardian of the God (神の守り人 Kami no Moribito ) won another Japanese award from the Shogakukan publishing company. Then, in 2003, Uehashi wrote the novel Beyond the Werefox's Flute (狐笛のかなた Koteki no Kanata ), which receives yet another Noma Children's Literature award.
Books that are based on Japanese culture
- 1989 "Spirit's Tree" (精霊の木 Seirei no Ki )
In the far future, when the earth was completely polluted and people could no longer live on it, human beings spread out onto other planets. For the Planet Nira, where Shin Yamano lives, it's the 200th anniversary since humans first settled on it. But something is wrong. Shin's cousin Licia suddenly awakens to the ESP-like ability of the Roshnars, an aboriginal tribe of Nira that was said to have been extinct ages ago....
- 1991 "O God, Sleep Ye in the Forest of Moon" (月の森にカミよ眠れ Tsuki no Mori ni Kami yo Nemure )
Torn between the love of the god of the Moon Forest and the need of her tribe to kill the very same god, the young oracle girl Kishime is distressed. Her tribe talks of killing the god and felling the sacred forest for rich harvest. But should she listen to the urgent needs of her tribe, or should she fulfill her duty as the oracle of the god of the forest?
- 2003 "Beyond the Werefox's Flute" (狐笛のかなた Koteki no Kanata )
The young girl, Sayo has inherited the ability of "hearing" people's minds from her mother. In her childhood, she had once saved a fox cub from some hunter's hounds. But that fox was a werefox that lives between the world of the gods and this world, owned by human, sent to kill a lord. Despite her will, Sayo is dragged into the ugly fight between two countries...
- 2000 "The Backyard Aborigines" (隣のアボリジニ Tonari no Aborijini )
Uehashi's only book as an ethnologist. About Aborigines who live in town, with the white-skinned Australians. When you first look at them, these people seem to have no difference from the white Australians, but something is different....
The Guardian series
- 1996 "Guardian of the Spirit" (精霊の守り人 Seirei no Moribito )
- 1999 "Guardian of the Darkness" (闇の守り人 Yami no Moribito )
- 2000 "Guardian of Dreams" (夢の守り人 Yume no Moribito )
- 2001 "Traveler of Void" (虚空の旅人 Koku no Tabibito )
- 2003 "Guardian of the God" (神の守り人 Kami no Moribito ) (Two volumes)
- 2005 "Traveler of the Indigo-Blue Road" (蒼路の旅人 Sōro no Tabibito )
- 2006~2007 "Guardian of Heaven and Earth" (天と地の守り人 Ten to Chi no Moribito )(Three volumes)
- 2008 "Wanderers" (流れ行く者 Nagare yuku mono ) (ISBN 978-4035403609)
Kemono no Souja series
- 2006 "The Beast Player I: The Fighting Serpent Chapter" (獣の奏者 I 闘蛇編 Kemono no Sōja Ichi: Tōda hen )(ISBN 978-4062137010)
- 2006 "The Beast Player II: The King Beast Chapter" (獣の奏者 II 王獣編 Kemono no Sōja Ni: Ōjū hen )(ISBN 978-4062137003)
- 2009 "The Beast Player III: The Quest Chapter" (獣の奏者 III 探求編 "Kemono no Sōja San: Tankyū hen" )(ISBN 978-4062156325)
- 2009 "The Beast Player IV: The Final Chapter" (獣の奏者 IV 完結編 "Kemono no Sōja Yon: Kanketsu hen" )(ISBN 978-4062156332)
- (Japanese) official site of the Moribito novels
- (Japanese) official site of the Moribito anime
- (English) Nahoko Uehashi at J'Lit Books from Japan