Red Circle Authors

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Red Circle Authors is a British publishing house based in London that specialises in Japanese fiction.[1][2][3]


Red Circle Authors was set up in 2016, by Richard Nathan and Koji Chikatani, to showcase Japan’s best creative writing.[4] The Gutai group was the initial inspiration behind Red Circle Authors.[5]

Members of the Red Circle Authors group include: Kazufumi Shiraishi, Randy Taguchi [ja], Fuminori Nakamura, Kanji Hanawa [ja], Mitsuyo Kakuta, Takuji Ichikawa, Soji Shimada and Roger Pulvers.

Currently, only a limited number of literary works by Red Circle's authors are available outside Japan in translation.[6] Despite this, many of Red Circle's authors have won literary awards in Japan including, for example, the Naoki Prize (Mitsuyo Kakuta 2005, Kazufumi Shiraishi in 2010) and the Akutagawa Prize (Fuminori Nakamura in 2005); and have had their works adapted for film and television in Japan.[7][8]

Some of the group's authors already have well-established reputations in Asia (in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Thailand, for example)[9] and are starting to win international literary prizes.[10] Fuminori Nakamura,[11] for instance, won the David L. Goodis Award in 2014.

Imprint and series[edit]

Red Circle Authors' publishing imprint is Red Circle.[12][13]

Red Circle Authors launched this imprint and publishing programme on 23 November 2018 with the launch of its first series Red Circle Minis[14] and the publication of its first three Minis:[15]

Stand-In Companion by Kazufumi Shiraishi,[16][17][18][19] Backlight by Kanji Hanawa[20][21][22][23] and Tokyo Performance by Roger Pulvers[24][25]

Commentators and reviewers said after their publications that the approach taken was "not about resizing big books into small objects, but rather about celebrating textual brevity in book form itself",[26][27] a longtime tradition in Japan.[28][29]


Red Circle Authors' activities are managed from London.[30] The group also has an office in Tokyo. It promotes its select curated group of contemporary Japanese and Japan-based authors and their creative works to the international publishing industry and readers from these two locations.[31][32]

In addition to its book publishing Red Circle publishes a magazine on its website, The Circle,[33] which provides news, analysis and opinion on Japanese literature, writers, publishing, bookselling and culture.


  1. ^ "Japanese Writers' House, Red Circle Team Up". AuthorLink: Writers & Readers Magazine. 30 June 2017.
  2. ^ Kosaka, Kris (22 December 2018). "Red Circle Authors: Sending Japanese literature westward". The Japan Times.
  3. ^ Charkin, Richard (13 February 2019). "Nine Lessons From a Small Indie Publisher". Publishing Perspectives. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  4. ^ "日本の書き下ろし小説、英で出版 現代文学を世界に紹介". Yahoo News Japan. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Red Circle Authors: Sending Japanese literature westward". The Japan Times. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  6. ^ Tasker, Peter (28 January 2019). "Bull market in bungaku highlights Japanese literary revival". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Profile of Mitsuyo Kakuta 角田光代 listing film & television adaptations". Foundation for the Advancement of Juvenile Education in Japan. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  8. ^ Nathan, Richard (19 April 2019). "'Just Only Love' the fifth Mitsuyo Kakuta book-to-film adaptation out on general release". Red Circle Authors. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Kazufumi Shiraishi's rising international profile". Red Circle Authors. 22 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Profile of Fuminori Nakamura". Foundation for the Advancement of Juvenile Education in Japan. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  11. ^ "In Brief: Mysteries". The Wall Street Journal. 17 March 2012.
  12. ^ "日本の書き下ろし小説、英で出版". Kyodo News (In Japanese). 20 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  13. ^ Hazelton, Claire (10 April 2020). "Locked in or out? Claire Kohda Hazelton reviews the new Japanese-in-translation imprint Red Circle Minis". The Times Literary Supplement (TLS). The Times Literary Supplement Limited. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Red Circle's Publishing Programme". Red Circle Authors. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  15. ^ Tasker, Peter (28 January 2019). "Bull market in bungaku highlights Japanese literary revival". Nikkei Asia Review.
  16. ^ Shiraishi, Kazufumi (2018). Stand-In Companion. United Kingdom: Red Circle Authors. ISBN 978-1912864003.
  17. ^ Gattig, Nicolas (26 January 2019). "Androids, infertility and ethics collide in Kazufumi Shiraishi's dystopian 'Stand-in Companion'". The Japan Times.
  18. ^ "Review of Stand-In Companion". The Complete Review. 27 November 2018.
  19. ^ Gebhardt, Lisette (4 April 2019). "Das philosophische Paradigma in der zeitgenössischen japanischen Literatur". Literatur Kritik. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  20. ^ Hanawa, Kanji (2018). Backlight. United Kingdom: Red Circle Authors. ISBN 978-1912864041.
  21. ^ "Review Backlight". The Complete Review. 27 November 2018.
  22. ^ Maloney, Iain (22 June 2019). "'Backlight': All alone in the wilds of Hokkaido". The Japan Times. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  23. ^ Lloyd, John (21 January 2020). "Backlight by Kanji Hanawa". NB Magazine. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  24. ^ Pulvers, Roger (2018). Tokyo Performance. United Kingdom: Red Circle Authors. ISBN 978-1912864027.
  25. ^ "Review of Tokyo Performance by Roger Pulvers". Books on Asia. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  26. ^ Rollmann, Hans (15 March 2019). "Small Books for Big Brains: Red Circle Minis' Pocket-sized Japanese Fiction". PopMatters. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  27. ^ Harris, Will (17 April 2019). "The Red Circle Minis Collection – Three New Japanese Stories". Books And Bao.
  28. ^ Nathan, Richard (16 March 2019). "Short Story Writing in Japan: From Nobel Prize winners to AI". The Circle. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  29. ^ Dodd, Stephen (Summer 2020). "The Transformation of Identity in Contemporary Japanese Fiction". Wasafiri, International Contemporary Writing. 35, No 2, 2020 (2): 87–104. doi:10.1080/02690055.2020.1721153. S2CID 219664893 – via Taylor and Francis Online.
  30. ^ "人模様:日本の小説、海外に発信 リチャード・ネーサンさん、近谷浩二さん". 毎日新聞 (in Japanese).
  31. ^ "Business Partnership". Japanese Writers' House. 30 June 2017.
  32. ^ "It's official: The Red Circle Factbook is now an Encyclopaedia". Japanese Writers' House. 30 March 2018.
  33. ^ "The Circle, Red Circle's magazine, designed for everyone interested Japanese literature, culture and publishing". Red Circle Authors. Red Circle Authors. Retrieved 3 February 2019.

External links[edit]