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Born in 1972 in Sapporo. He graduated from the physics department of Tohoku University, then went on to the graduate school at University of Tokyo and received Ph.D. for a mathematical physical study on the natural languages. He worked as a post-doc researcher at several research institutes for seven years, then abandoned the academic career in 2007 and found a programmer job at a software firm (resigns in 2008 to become a full-time writer).
In 2006, he submitted Self-Reference ENGINE to a science-fiction novel contest Komatsu Sakyō Award. Although it did not win the award (none did in this year), it was published from Hayakawa Shobō in 2007. At almost same time, his short story "Obu za bēsbōru" ("Of The Baseball") won the contest of literary magazine Bungakukai, which became his debut in literary fiction.
His literary fictions are often dense with allusions. Labyrinthine annotations were added to "Uyūshitan" when it was published in book form in 2009, where there were none when published initially in literary magazine. Often, his science fiction works take motif from mathematics. The narrator of "Boy's Surface" (2007) is a morphism, and the title is a reference to a geometrical notion. In "Moonshine" (2009), natural numbers are sentient through a savant's mind's eye in a field of the monster group.
Project Itoh's Genocidal Organ was also a finalist of Komatsu Sakyō Award contest and published from Hayakawa Shobō in 2007, along with Enjoe's Self-Reference ENGINE. Since then they often appeared together at science fiction conventions and interviews, and collaborated in a few works, until Itoh's death of cancer in 2009. At the press conference after the announcement of Enjoe's Akutagawa Prize in January 2012, he revealed the plan to complete Itoh's unfinished novel Shisha no teikoku. It was published in August 2012, and received the Special Award of Nihon SF Taisho.
- 2010: Noma Prize for New Writers for Uyūshitan
- 2012: Akutagawa Prize for "Dōkeshi no chō (Harlequin's Butterfly)"
- 2012: Nihon SF Taisho Special Award for Shisha no teikoku (The Empire of Corpses) (with Project Itoh)
- 2013: Seiun Award Japanese Long Form for Shisha no teikoku (with Project Itoh)
- English translations
- Self-Reference ENGINE (Haikasoru/VIZ Media, 2013); translation of Self-Reference ENGINE (2007, 2010); translated by Terry Gallagher
- English translations, short form
- "Freud" (excerpt from Self-Reference ENGINE) (Speculative Japan 2, Kurodahan Press, 2011)
- "Silverpoint" (Japan Earthquake Charity Literature, Waseda Bungaku, 2011)
- "Meditations on Green" (Monkey Business, Volume 2, A Public Space, 2012)
- "Endoastronomy" (The Future Is Japanese, Haikasoru/VIZ Media, 2012)
- "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Galactic Empire" (Words Without Borders, July 2012 )
- "Harlequin's Butterfly" (Excerpt) (ASYMPTOTE, Jan 2013 )
- "Time in "Time"" (essay) (Monkey Business, Volume 3, A Public Space, 2013)
An interviewer in the literary journal Asymptote wrote, "Toh EnJoe's stories are known for their scientific lucidity and literary impenetrability. His language and his writing style, however, belie his background as a physicist: topics woven into his stories include science, but also linguistics, literary theory, and philosophical approaches to the imagination. His complicated narrative structures are the subject of heated discussions and have even evoked harsh reviews calling his work 'indigestible', 'sleep-inducing,' and 'reader-unfriendly'."
- Enjoe, Toh (2008). "ポスドクからポストポスドクへ(<シリーズ>"ポスドク"問題 その12)" [PD2PPD (Network Pages for Professional Development of Physicists)]. Butsuri (in Japanese) 63 (7): 564–566. ISSN 0029-0181.
- "Tanaka, Enjo win Akutagawa award; Hamuro gets Naoki". The Japan Times. Kyodo. January 19, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- "Contributors". The Future Is Japanese. Viz Media. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4215-4223-2.
- "全文掲載：芥川賞受賞会見 円城塔さん". NHK Kabun Blog (in Japanese). NHK Science & Culture. January 18, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- "円城塔さん「奇妙な小説書いていく」 芥川賞受賞会見" (in Japanese). The Asahi Shimbun. January 18, 2012. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- Mamatas, Nick (April 22, 2013). "Q/A with a translator: Terry Gallagher". Retrieved May 27, 2013.
- Okamoto, Sayuri (2013). "An interview with Toh EnJoe". Asymptote. Retrieved May 27, 2013.