Jirō Akagawa

Jirō Akagawa 赤川次郎

Jirō Akagawa (1948–) was born in Fukuoka Prefecture. With his books having collectively sold almost a third of a billion copies as of 2015, he is Japan’s all-time best-selling author. After taking an office job straight out of high school, he first began trying his hand at writing by submitting scripts for television dramas, then made his literary debut in 1976 by winning the All Yomimono Mystery Prize for New Writers with his short story—Yūrei ressha (Ghost Train). Two years later he published the first of his humorous mystery novels featuring a cat in the role of detective, Mikeneko Hōmuzu no suiri (The Detections of Tortoiseshell Holmes), which became a huge hit and launched a series that has grown to 50 volumes of novels and short stories as of 2016. Many of his works have been adapted to film or television, including titles in the Holmes series as well as the comedy/action novel Sērāfuku to kikanjū (Sailor Suit and Machine Gun). In 2005 he was awarded the Japan Mystery Fiction Prize for his body of work, and in 2016 his political suspense novel Tōkyō zero-nen (Tokyo Year Zero) won the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for Literature. Unfolding briskly paced plots in a breezy style filled with humor and ingenious surprises, he is a master craftsman who never lets his readers down.

Books by Jirō Akagawa
  • Book

    Tokyo Year Zero

    This dystopian, near-future novel, reminiscent in some ways of George Orwell’s?1984, poses numerous questions about the direction in which Japan’s current political regime is taking the country. At the center of the action is Shigeharu Namatame, reti …