Akiyuki Nosaka

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Akiyuki Nosaka
Native name
野坂 昭如
Born(1930-10-10)October 10, 1930
Kamakura, Kanagawa
DiedDecember 9, 2015(2015-12-09) (aged 85)
Pen nameYukio Aki
OccupationNovelist, singer, lyricist, and member of the house of councillors
Notable worksGrave of the Fireflies
RelativesSukeyuki Nosaka

Akiyuki Nosaka (野坂 昭如, Nosaka Akiyuki, October 10, 1930 – December 9, 2015) was a Japanese novelist, singer, lyricist, and member of the House of Councillors. As a broadcasting writer he used the name Yukio Aki (阿木 由紀夫, Aki Yukio) and his alias as a chanson singer was Claude Nosaka (クロード 野坂, Kurōdo Nosaka).


Nosaka was born in Kamakura, Kanagawa, the son of Sukeyuki Nosaka, who was a sub-governor of Niigata. Together with his sisters he grew up as an adopted child of a Harimaya (surname) family in Nada, Kobe, Hyōgo. Nosaka is part of the "Generation of the Ashes" (Yakeato Sedai), which includes other writers like Oe Kenzaburo and Oda Makoto.[1]

One of his sisters died as the result of malnutrition, and his adoptive father died during the 1945 bombing of Kobe in World War II. Another sister died of malnutrition in Fukui. Nosaka would later base his short story Grave of the Fireflies on these experiences. He is well known for children's stories about war. His Grave of the Fireflies and American Hijiki won the 58th Naoki Prize (1967下).[2]

His novel, The Pornographers, was translated into English by Michael Gallagher and published in 1968. It was also filmed as The Pornographers by Shohei Imamura. In December 1978, he was credited for giving former rugby player-turned pro wrestler Susumu Hara his ring name, Ashura Hara.

He was elected to the Japanese Diet in 1983. Nosaka suffered a stroke in 2003 and although still affected by it, he kept writing a column for the daily Mainichi Shimbun.

On NHK's December 10, 2015 7:00 pm broadcast announcing Nosaka's death, a veteran journalist was quoted as saying Nosaka was notable for questioning what most people consider common sense, but Japan has now entered an era in which this is no longer possible.


  • TV commercial and magazine articles (1950s)
  • The Pornographers (エロ事師たち, Erogotoshi-tachi) (1963) English translation by Michael Gallagher, ISBN 0-436-31530-0
  • American Hijiki (アメリカひじき, Amerika Hijiki) (1967) English translation included in The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories (2017), Jay Rubin ed.
  • Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓, Hotaru no Haka) (1967)
  • War Stories for Children (1971)
  • The Whale That Fell in Love With a Submarine (2015) 戦争童話集 (Senso Dowashuu), English Translation by Ginny Tapley Takemori, ISBN 978-1-782690-27-6


  1. ^ Rosenbaum, Roman; Claremont, Yasuko (2012). Legacies of the Asia-Pacific War: The yakeato generation. Routledge. p. 78. ISBN 1136936211.
  2. ^ 直木賞受賞者一覧 [Naoki Prize Winners List] (in Japanese). 日本文学振興会. Retrieved September 13, 2018.

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