Nao-Cola Yamazaki

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Nao-Cola Yamazaki
Native name
山崎 ナオコーラ
Born山崎 直子
1978 (age 40–41)
Kitakyushu, Japan
OccupationWriter
LanguageJapanese
NationalityJapanese
Alma materKokugakuin University
Genre
Notable works
  • Hito no sekkusu o warau na
  • Utsukushii kyori
Notable awards

Nao-Cola Yamazaki (山崎 ナオコーラ, Yamazaki Nao-Cola, born 1978) is the professional name of Naoko Yamazaki (山崎 直子, Yamazaki Naoko), a Japanese writer. She has won the Bungei Prize and the Shimase Award for Love Stories, she has been nominated multiple times for the Akutagawa Prize, and her work has been adapted for film.

Early life and education[edit]

Yamazaki was born in 1978 in Kitakyushu, Japan.[1] Shortly after her birth her family moved to Saitama Prefecture, where she was raised.[2] Yamazaki started writing fiction as a senior at Kokugakuin University, from which she graduated after writing a thesis on the character Ukifune in The Tale of Genji.[2][3] She chose the pen name "Nao-Cola" because she liked Diet Coke.[4]

Career[edit]

Yamazaki made her literary debut in 2004 with Hito no sekkusu o warau na (人のセックスを笑うな, Don't Laugh At Other People's Sex Lives), a story about a romantic relationship between a 19-year old male student and his much older female teacher. Hito no sekkusu o warau na won the 41st Bungei Prize, an award recognizing new writers.[5] The book was also nominated for the 132nd Akutagawa Prize.[6] Hito no sekkusu o warau na was later adapted into the 2008 Nami Iguchi film of the same name, starring Hiromi Nagasaku and Kenichi Matsuyama.[7]

Several of Yamazaki's subsequent novels were also nominated for the Akutagawa Prize. Katsura Biyōshitsu besshitsu (カツラ美容室別室), Yamazaki's 2007 novel about the relationships among people who meet at a beauty salon, was nominated for the 138th Akutagawa Prize and survived the first round of voting by the selection committee, but ultimately did not win, as the prize went to Mieko Kawakami.[8] Her story Te (, Hand), later included in a 2009 collection of the same name, was nominated for the 140th Akutagawa Prize.[9] Niki no kutsujoku (ニキの屈辱, Niki's Humiliation), a romance novel about the relationship between a popular photographer and a photographer's assistant, was nominated for the 145th Akutagawa Prize.[10] In 2016 her novel Utsukushii kyori (美しい距離) was nominated for the 155th Akutagawa Prize, marking her fifth nomination for the award, but the award went to first-time nominee Sayaka Murata.[11][12] Utsukushii kyori, a story about a married couple dealing with the wife's terminal cancer, subsequently won the 23rd Shimase Award for Love Stories.[13][14]

In addition to her fiction, Yamazaki also publishes essays on non-traditional family life, including the 2016 collection Kawaii otto (かわいい夫, Cute Husband), a series of essays about living in a family where the wife is more successful than the husband.[15][16] After having her first child at the age of 37, Yamazaki wrote a series of essays about the first year of her daughter's life.[3] The resulting book, Haha dewa nakute oya ni naru (母ではなくて、親になる, Becoming a Parent, Not a Mother), was published in 2017.[17]

Yamazaki's first English-language book, a collection of short stories translated by Polly Barton, was published by Strangers Press under the title Friendship for Grown Ups in 2017. In a review for The Japan Society of the UK, Eluned Gramich noted that Yamazaki "seems more interested in the distance between lovers than in what unites them", but also called Friendship for Grown Ups "funny and clever".[18] The Japan Times praised Yamazaki's "skill in evoking the ambiguity of contemporary life" and called the collection "a small book that says a lot about the way we live today".[19]

Recognition[edit]

Works[edit]

Selected works in Japanese[edit]

  • Hito no sekkusu o warau na (人のセックスを笑うな, Don't Laugh At Other People's Sex Lives), Kawade Shobō Shinsha, 2004, ISBN 9784309016849
  • Katsura Biyōshitsu besshitsu (カツラ美容室別室), Kawade Shobō Shinsha, 2007, ISBN 9784309018409
  • Te (, Hand), Bungeishunjū, 2007, ISBN 9784163278209
  • Niki no kutsujoku (ニキの屈辱, Niki's Humiliation), Kawade Shobō Shinsha, 2011, ISBN 9784309020631
  • Kawaii otto (かわいい夫, Cute Husband), Natsuhasha, 2015, ISBN 9784904816189
  • Utsukushii kyori (美しい距離, Beautiful Distance), Bungeishunjū, 2016, ISBN 9784163904818
  • Haha dewa nakute oya ni naru (母ではなくて、親になる, Becoming a Parent, not a Mother), Kawade Shobō Shinsha, 2017, ISBN 9784309025803

Selected works in English[edit]

  • "The Beginning of the Long End", trans. Takami Nieda, Asymptote Journal, 2013[20]
  • "Cavities and Kindness", trans. Kalau Almony, Words Without Borders, 2015[21]
  • "Dad, I Love You", trans. Morgan Giles, The Book of Tokyo: A City in Short Fiction, 2015[4]
  • "A False Genealogy", trans. Polly Barton, Catapult Magazine, 2015[22]
  • Friendship For Grown Ups, trans. Polly Barton, Strangers Press, 2017, ISBN 9781911343028
  • "Fossil Candy", trans. Polly Barton, The Arkansas International, 2017[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "山崎ナオコーラさん「反人生」 型にはまらず社会とつきあう". Sankei Shimbun (in Japanese). October 7, 2015. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b 瀧井, 朝世 (April 8, 2009). "作家の読書道 第90回:山崎ナオコーラさん" [Author's Reading Path, 90th edition: Nao-Cola Yamazaki]. WEB本の雑誌 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on June 29, 2016. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  3. ^ a b 平野, 友紀子 (November 8, 2017). "山崎ナオコーラさん 「母親だから」と気負わず生きる". Nikkei Style (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Emmerich, Michael; Hinks, Jim; Matsuie, Masashi, eds. (2015). The Book of Tokyo: A City in Short Fiction. Comma Press. ISBN 9781905583577.
  5. ^ a b "文藝賞受賞作" [Bungei Prize Winning Works]. Kawade Shobō Shinsha (in Japanese). Archived from the original on April 19, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "人のセックスを笑うな". Wowow (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  7. ^ "生々しさにドキドキ 「人のセックスを笑うな」". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). October 14, 2007. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "芥川賞、直木賞 選考を振り返る" [Looking back on the selection of the Akutagawa Prize and Naoki Prize]. ENAK (in Japanese). Sankei Shimbun. January 21, 2008. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2008.
  9. ^ "「人のセックスを笑うな」の山崎さん芥川賞候補に!" [Hito no sekkusu o warau na author Nao-Cola Yamazaki nominated for Akutagawa Prize]. TV Asahi (in Japanese). January 5, 2009. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  10. ^ "第145回芥川賞は1年半ぶり「該当者なし」 直木賞は池井戸潤氏『下町ロケット』". Oricon Career News (in Japanese). July 14, 2011. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  11. ^ 高橋, 天地 (July 25, 2016). "芥川賞、直木賞 選考過程と講評" [Akutagawa Prize and Naoki Prize Selection and Reviews]. Sankei Shimbun (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  12. ^ Kikuchi, Daisuke (July 20, 2016). "Convenience store worker who moonlights as an author wins prestigious Akutagawa Prize". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on January 8, 2019. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  13. ^ "美しい距離』山崎ナオコーラ". Sankei Shimbun (in Japanese). August 7, 2016. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "島清恋愛文学賞に乙川優三郎さん、山崎ナオコーラさん". Hokkoku Shimbun (in Japanese). February 16, 2017. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  15. ^ うめの, たかし (February 16, 2016). "私的本屋賞『かわいい夫』山崎ナオコーラ・著". Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  16. ^ 古澤, 誠一郎 (May 3, 2016). ""勝ち負けのない世界"で小さな幸せを育む。山崎ナオコーラのエッセイ『かわいい夫』". Da Vinci News (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  17. ^ 長谷川, 彩 (February 26, 2018). "ナオコーラさんの、所信表明。『母ではなくて、親になる』". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 17, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  18. ^ Gramich, Eluned (June 1, 2017). "Keshiki Series". The Japan Society of the UK. Archived from the original on April 5, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  19. ^ Jones, T. C. (January 12, 2019). "'Friendship for Grown-Ups' evokes the ambiguity of everyday life". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on January 12, 2019. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  20. ^ Yamazaki, Nao-Cola (December 3, 2013). "The Beginning of the Long End". Asymptote Journal. Translated by Nieda, Takami. Archived from the original on April 2, 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  21. ^ Yamazaki, Nao-Cola (June 1, 2014). "Cavities and Kindness". Words Without Borders. Translated by Almony, Kalau. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  22. ^ Yamazaki, Nao-Cola (September 14, 2015). "A False Genealogy". Catapult Magazine. Translated by Barton, Polly. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  23. ^ Yamazaki, Nao-Cola (2017). "Fossil Candy". The Arkansas International. Translated by Barton, Polly. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.