Joh Sasaki

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Joh Sasaki
Born (1950-03-16) March 16, 1950 (age 67)
Yubari, Hokkaido
Occupation Writer, novelist, journalist
Nationality Japan
Period 1979 –
Genre Historical fiction, crime fiction, adventure, mystery, suspense, young adult fiction
Notable awards Naoki 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]