Kōtarō Isaka

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Kōtarō Isaka
Born(1971-05-25)25 May 1971
Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture
OccupationAuthor
Period2000-present
GenreMystery
Crime fiction

Kōtarō Isaka (伊坂 幸太郎, Isaka Kōtarō, born 25 May 1971) is a Japanese author of mystery fiction.

Life and career[edit]

Isaka was born in Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from the law faculty of Tohoku University, he worked as a system engineer. Isaka quit his company job and focused on writing after hearing Kazuyoshi Saito's 1997 song "Kōfuku na Chōshoku Taikutsu na Yūshoku", and the two have collaborated several times.[1] In 2000, Isaka won the Shincho Mystery Club Prize for his debut novel Ōdyubon no Inori, after which he became a full-time writer.

In 2002, Isaka's novel Lush Life gained much critical acclaim, but it was his Naoki Prize-nominated work Jūryoku Piero (2003) that brought him popular success. His following work Ahiru to Kamo no Koin Rokkā won the 25th Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers.

Jūryoku Piero(2003), Children(2004), Grasshopper(2004), Shinigami no Seido(2005) and Sabaku(2006) were all nominated for the Naoki Prize.

The author wrote the 2007 short story "Eine Kleine" after receiving a request for song lyrics from Saito, and a character in it is named after the musician.[2] Saito wrote the song "Very Very Strong -Eine Kleine-" based on the story, and Isaka then wrote a story titled "Light Heavy" in response that was included with the limited edition of the single.[1] When Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the Isaka collection that includes the two previously mentioned stories and others, was adapted into a film in 2019, Saito provided its music.[2] Saito previously provided music to the film adaptations of Isaka's Fish Story, Golden Slumber and Potechi.[3]

Isaka was the only author in Japan to be nominated for the Hon'ya Taishō in each of the award's first four years, finally winning in 2008 with Remote Control (original Japanese title: Golden Slumber). The same work also won the 21st Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize.

Isaka's books are published in Chinese, French, Korean, Taiwanese, Thai and English, and additional translations are forthcoming in Indonesian, Italian, Lithuanian and Russian.[citation needed] Abrams Books published Bullet Train in 2021.[4]

Works available in English[edit]

Novels
  • Remote Control (original Japanese title: Golden Slumber), trans. Stephen Snyder (Kodansha USA, 2011) ISBN 978-4770031082
  • Bullet Train (original Japanese title: Maria Beetle), trans. Sam Malissa (Harvill Secker, 2021) ISBN 978-1787302587
Short stories
  • The Precision of the Agent of Death (original Japanese title: Shinigami no Seido), trans. Beth Cary
  • The Bookmobile (original Japanese title: Bukkumobīru), trans. Michael Emmerich (Granta online, 4th November 2020)

Awards[edit]

Japanese awards
  • 1996 - 13th Suntory Mystery Prize honorable mention: Akutō Tachi ga Me ni Shimiru (Later revised as Yōkina Gyangu ga Chikyū o Mawasu)
  • 2000 - 5th Shincho Mystery Club Prize: Ōdyubon no Inori
  • 2004 - 25th Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers: Ahiru to Kamo no Koin Rokkā
  • 2004 - 57th Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Best Short Story: Shinigami no Seido
  • 2008 - 5th Japan Booksellers' Award (Hon'ya Taishō): Remote Control (original Japanese title: Golden Slumber)
  • 2008 - 21st Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize: Remote Control (original Japanese title: Golden Slumber)
  • 2020 - 33rd Shibata Renzaburō Award: Gyaku Sokuratesu
French awards
  • 2012 - Prix Masterton (fr): Ōdyubon no Inori (French title: La Prière d'Audubon)[5]
  • 2012 - Prix Zoom Japon: Ōdyubon no Inori (French title: La Prière d'Audubon)[6]

Bibliography[edit]

Novels[edit]

  • Ōdyubon no Inori (オーデュボンの祈り), 2000 (French translation: La Prière d'Audubon, Philippe Picquier Publishing, 2011)
  • Rasshu Raifu (Lush Life) (ラッシュライフ), 2002
  • Yōkina Gyangu ga Chikyū o Mawasu (陽気なギャングが地球を回す), 2003
  • Jūryoku Piero (重力ピエロ), 2003 (French translation: Pierrot-la-gravité, Philippe Picquier Publishing, 2012)
  • Ahiru to Kamo no Koin Rokkā (アヒルと鴨のコインロッカー), 2003
  • Gurasuhoppā (Grasshopper) (グラスホッパー), 2004
  • Sabaku (砂漠), 2005
  • Yōkina Gyangu no Nichijō to Shūgeki (陽気なギャングの日常と襲撃), 2006
  • Gōruden Surambā (Golden Slumber) (ゴールデンスランバー), 2007 (English translation: Remote Control, Kodansha USA, 2011)
  • Modan Taimusu (Modern Times) (モダンタイムス), 2008
  • Aru Kingu (あるキング), 2009
  • Esu Ō Esu no Saru (SOSの猿), 2009
  • Ō! Fāzā (Oh! Father) (オー! ファーザー), 2010
  • Maria Bītoru (Maria Beetle) (マリアビートル), 2010
  • Yoru no Kuni no Kūpā (夜の国のクーパー), 2012
  • Gasorin Seikatsu (ガソリン生活), 2013
  • Shinigami no Furyoku (死神の浮力), 2013
  • Kyaputen Sandāboruto(Captain Thunderbolt) (キャプテンサンダーボルト), co-authored with Kazushige Abe, 2014
  • Kasei ni Sumu Tsumorikai ? (火星に住むつもりかい?), 2015
  • Yōkina Gyangu wa Mittsu Kazoero (陽気なギャングは三つ数えろ), 2015
  • Sabumarin(Submarine) (サブマリン), 2016
  • Howaito Rabitto(White Rabbit) (ホワイトラビット), 2017
  • Fūga wa Yūga (フーガはユーガ), 2018
  • Kujiraatama no Ōsama (クジラアタマの王様), 2019

Short story collections[edit]

  • Chirudoren (Children) (チルドレン), 2004
  • Shinigami no Seido (死神の精度), 2005 (French translation: La Mort avec précision, Philippe Picquier Publishing, 2015)
  • Maō (魔王), 2005
  • Shūmatsu no Fūru (終末のフール), 2006
  • Fisshu Sutōrī (Fish Story) (フィッシュストーリー), 2007
  • Baibai, Burakkubādo (Bye Bye, Blackbird) (バイバイ、ブラックバード), 2010
  • Pīkē (PK), 2012
  • Nokori Zembu Bakēshon (残り全部バケーション), 2012
  • Kubioriotoko no tameno Kyōsōkyoku (首折り男のための協奏曲), 2014
  • Aine Kuraine Nahatomujīku (Eine kleine Nachtmusik) (アイネクライネナハトムジーク), 2014
  • Jairosukōpu (Gyroscope) (ジャイロスコープ), 2015
  • Akkusu (AX), 2017
  • Shisō Monsutā (Seesaw Monster) (シーソーモンスター), 2019
  • Gyaku Sokuratesu (逆ソクラテス), 2020

Film adaptations[edit]

  • A Cheerful Gang Turns the Earth (2006) (Yōkina Gyangu ga Chikyū o Mawasu)
  • Children (2006)
  • The Foreign Duck, the Native Duck and God in a Coin Locker (2007) (Ahiru to Kamo no Koin Rokkā)
  • Sweet Rain (2008) (Shinigami no Seido)
  • Fish Story (2009)
  • Gravity's Clowns (2009) (Jūryoku Piero)
  • Lush Life (2009)
  • Golden Slumber (2010)
  • Chips (2012) (Potechi)
  • Oh! Father (2014)
  • Grasshopper (2015)
  • Golden Slumber (2018)(Korean movie)
  • Little Nights, Little Love (2019) (Eine kleine Nachtmusik)
  • Bullet Train (TBA) (Maria beetle)

Manga adaptations[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]