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<2000/7/21>
Okinawa Writers Excel in Literature
When it comes to literature, Okinawa draws attention. Four Okinawan writers have received the Akutagawa Prize, which is the most prestigious in Japanese literature.

TATSUHIRO OSHIRO

The first winner of the Akutagawa Prize in Okinawa was Mr. Tatsuhiro Oshiro who is currently active as one of the representative writers of Okinawa. His winning work for the Akutagawa Prize was "Cocktail Party" in 1967.

The story is about an Okinawan girl, who has friends that are American and Chinese, but unfortunately raped by a young GI at the time when Okinawa was under the U.S. military control. The young woman was distressed whether to sue her violator in court.

The story was a symbolic depiction of the situation of Okinawa of that era.

MINEO AZUMA

The second winner was Mineo Azuma, author of the book entitled "Okinawan Boy" in 1971.

It tells of a boy who grew up searching for his identity in Koza, the former name of Okinawa City. In this major story, the Okinawan language was used for the first time. It was made into a movie by Okinawan director Taku Shinjo.

EIKI MATAYOSHI

The third winner was Eiki Matayoshi in 1996, which was 25 years after the second winner. He wrote the "Revenge of Pigs."

One day pigs happened to run through a bar. A woman who experienced the scene was shocked by the pig intrusion and eventually lost her soul from this incident. She went to an off island with a friend in hopes of finding her spiritual identity. The story was later made into a movie by Yoichi Sai.

SHUN MEDORUMA

Shun Medoruma got the Akutagawa Prize one year later in 1997 for his work "A Drop of Water."

He is still in his thirties and there was much attention paid to his book.

In the story a man's foot suddenly swells up just like a winter melon and water spouts from his big toe.

Solders who had died in the Battle of Okinawa appeared under his foot in order to sip water for life sustenance every night after that.

The story is full of amazing fantasy and irony, and was valued as a new style. There are still many people under consideration for awards in Okinawa. Most of them write their works based on the spiritual world of Okinawa. This prefecture is the source of a plenty of material for novel.


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Copyright; 2000 Okinawa Times. All Rights Reserved.