Japanese Author – Hiromi Kawakami


Hiromi Kawakami is one of the most successful Japanese authors. She was born in Tokyo in 1958. She lives in Japan and teaches biology. She is a member of the Science Fiction Research Association.


Hiromi Kawakami spent her early days in the Takaido neighbourhood of Suginami City. She studied and got her graduation from Ochanomizu Women’s College in the year 1980. After her graduation she began to work for NW-SF, a Japanese science fiction magazine. Her first short story also appeared in the same magazine in 1980. It was at the age of 36 in 1994, Kawakami she made a foray into literary fiction and her book was titled Kamisama meaning God. It was a collection of short stories.  Two years later in 1996 she won Japan’s prestigious award Akutagawa Prize for the book Hebi Wo Fumi which was later translated into English, Record of a Night Too Brief. She wrote many books and received many awards, the latest being ‘Medal With Purple Ribbon’ in 2019. Kawakami revisited her first novel Kamasima after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. She reworked on her story, kept the original plot and incorporated the happenings of Fukushima into the plot.  Nishino Yukihiko no Koi to Bōken, her story, was made into a film in 2014.


As a writer Hiromi Kawakami stands as one who comprehended the bond between ordinary people. It could be romance, familial, professional or platonic relationships. She was good with all of them.  She took care in detailing common social interactions and explored emotional uncertainty. Kawakami also included magical realism and fantasy into her works. Many of her essays, short stories and novel extracts have been translated into English. On this world platform her work is compared to Banana Yoshimoto and Lewis Carroll. Kawakami has said that she has been influenced by the works of J.G. Ballard and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Popular works by the author

Many of Hiromi Kawakami’s works have been translated into English and most have sold well. Some of her popular works are Record of a Night Too Brief, The Brief Case, Parade: A Folktale, The ten Loves of Nishino, The Nakano Thrift Shop, Strange Weather in Tokyo.

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