Shuhei Fujisawa

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Shuhei Fujisawa (藤沢 周平, Fujisawa Shūhei, 26 December 1927 – 26 January 1997 in Tsuruoka, Yamagata, Japan) was a Japanese author. His real name is Tomeji Kosuge (小菅留治). Over fifty of his books were published, including both full-length novels and short story anthologies through the course of his lifetime. The focus of his writing was historical fiction. Before he became an author, he had been a journalist.

Published works[edit]

Over 23 million of his paperbacks have been printed. His work has been adapted for both television and film. Five recent full-length films have been based on his work. Three of them directed by Yoji Yamada are

In addition, Hana no Ato (2010) was turned into a movie and directed by Kenji Nakanishi.[1]

Historical setting[edit]

The Bamboo Sword and Other Samurai Tales, a collection of eight short stories, is a work of historical fiction. The stories are set in Edo period Japan (1603-1867) and depict the lives of people from all walks of life, but revolve mainly around samurai characters. The Edo Period (1603-1867) was a period of over 250 years of lasting peace in Japanese history. This historical period was full of political upheaval and intrigue, rivalry and betrayals. During this period, the samurai struggled to retain their sense of pride and meaning in life as they attempt to settle into mundane jobs and family life. This struggle can be seen throughout The Bamboo Sword and Other Samurai Tales and other works by Fujisawa Shuhei.

Fujisawa focused on the humanity of his characters in his stories. Through his stories, the reader comes to understand Japanese history and culture in a more real sense.


In 1973, Fujisawa received the Naoki Award for Ansatsu No Nenrin (Annals of Assassination), establishing himself as a leading author of period stories. He would go on to win six further prestigious literary awards. For example, he won the Asahi Prize in 1994.

The Twilight Samurai (2002), was in part based on the title story, The Bamboo Sword, won the 2003 Japanese Academy Awards. It was also nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category.



  1. ^ "JICC Press release, Embassy of Japan". JICC, Embassy of Japan. 

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