Joh Sasaki

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Joh Sasaki
Born (1950-03-16) March 16, 1950 (age 69)
Yubari, Hokkaido
OccupationWriter, novelist, journalist
Period1979 –
GenreHistorical fiction, crime fiction, adventure, mystery, suspense, young adult fiction
Notable worksEtorofu hatsu kinkyūden (1989)
Keikan no chi(2007)
Notable awardsNaoki Prize(2009)

Joh Sasaki (佐々木 譲, Sasaki Jō, born March 16, 1950) is a Japanese writer and journalist; chiefly known for his historical fiction and mystery novels.[1]


Joh Sasaki was born in Yubari, Hokkaido, Japan.[2][3] He spent his early youth in Nakashibetsu City and later ventured to Sapporo where Sasaki attended Tsukisamu High School. He released his first novel, Tekkihei, tonda (鉄騎兵、跳んだ), in 1979.[4][5] Sasaki quickly established himself as a writer after winning the All Yomimono New Writers Prize for Tekkihei, tonda which was also later adapted for the big screen.[6] Today Sasaki is known as a household author with numerous works in genres stretching from historical fiction, young adult fiction to police crime fiction, and even various TV Crime Drama adaptations.[7][8]

In 2009, Sasaki won Japan's number one literary award, the Naoki Prize, for his work ja:廃墟に乞う Haikyo ni kou, and also holds many other literary awards.[9] [10] [11] [12] These days Sasaki is actively developing his stories for the stage in addition to directing a Children's e-picture book project called Joh's Picture Book Project.[13]

Literary style[edit]

Joh Sasaki is well known in Japan as a social entertainment writer.[citation needed] In his novel ja:真夜中の遠い彼方 Mayonaka no tooi kanata (later re-titled to ja:新宿のありふれた夜 Shinjuku no arifureta yoru), he depicts the underground lifestyles of the Japanese mafia, boat people, and illegal alien workers. In ja:夜にその名を呼べば Yoru ni sono na o yobeba, Sasaki portrays a chilling Cold War scene in a mystery set in Otaru, Hokkaido and Berlin, Germany. His police mystery thriller, ja:歌う警官 Utau keikan (later re-titled to ja:笑う警官 Warau keikan) was adapted for the big screen and provides an early setting for his later internationally acclaimed roman-fleuve novel ja:警官の血 Keikan no chi which was eventually adapted for television. Sasaki's ja:ベルリン飛行指令 Berlin hikō shimei (English title: Zero Over Berlin) garnered critical acclaim for telling a World War II story from the other side about a fly-by-night mission involving a Type Zero Fighter (Mitsubishi A6M Zero) secretly making its way from Japan all the way to Berlin at the request of the Luftwaffe.[14][15][16][17] Zero Over Berlin is presently Sasaki's only novel translated into English.[18]

Works in English translation[edit]



Adventure novels[edit]

World War II[edit]

Historical fiction novels[edit]

  • Ezochi (Hokkaido) Trilogy Series
  • Bakumatsu Trilogy Series
    • ja:武揚伝 Buyōden (Chuokoron-Shinsha, Inc., 2001., Nakakou Bunko, 2003)
    • ja:くろふね Kuro Fune (Kadokawa Shoten, 2003., Kadokawa Shoten, 2008)
    • ja:英龍伝 Eiryūden (Nikkei Masuta-zu Rensai Mikanko)
  • ja:駿女 Shunme (Chuokoron-Shinsha, Inc., 2005., Nakakou Bunko, 2008)

Current works[edit]

Police crime fiction[edit]

Suspense novels[edit]

Young adult fiction and other novels[edit]

Horror novels[edit]

Other novels[edit]



  1. ^ "Joh Sasaki 佐々木譲". J'lit Books from Japan. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  2. ^ "夕張 ふたたび". Yomiuri Shimbun. November 2007. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  3. ^ Hideaki Nakamura (November 2011). "嗜好と文化:Vol. 7 佐々木譲「うそをつくのは楽しいし、書くうえでのモチベーションになっている」". Mainichi Shimbun. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  4. ^ Bungeishunjū.(August 1980).ASIN B000J86570.
  5. ^ Tokuma Shoten.(May 1986).ISBN 978-4195980750.
  6. ^ "特集Interview". March 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  7. ^ Joh Sasaki (August 1993). "エトロフ遥かなり". BSオリジナルドラマ. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  8. ^ Joh Sasaki. "Joh Sasaki's TV Drama series". NHK, BS Japan, EX, HBC. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  9. ^ Kyodo News (January 2010). "Writers Shiraishi, Sasaki win 142nd Naoki Prize". The Japan Times Online. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  10. ^ "ANNOUNCEMENT: 142nd Naoki Prize Winners Selected". Japanese Writer's House. February 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  11. ^ "『廃墟に乞う』で直木賞 佐々木譲 冒険を恐れず 転機を拒まず". Asahi Shimbun. January 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  12. ^ "2 novelists share Naoki Prize for literature". Iran Book News Agency. January 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  13. ^ "Joh's Picture Book Project". Joh's Picture Book Project. December 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  14. ^ Shinchosha.(August 1988).ISBN 4-10-602703-8.
  15. ^ Shinchoshabunko.(January,1993).ISBN 4-10-122311-4.
  16. ^ Joh Sasaki; translated by Hiroko Yoda with Matt Alt (June 2004). "Zero Over Berlin". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  17. ^ "ZERO OVER BERLIN READING GUIDE". Vertical, Inc. June 2004. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  18. ^ Jonah Morgan (2004). "ANS Exclusive Interview: Author Joh Sasaki – Zero Over Berlin". ANS. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  19. ^ J'Lit | Publications : The Policeman's Lineage | Books from Japan
  20. ^ J'Lit | Publications : Prayer in the Ruins | Books from Japan

External links[edit]