Authors

Yasushi Satō

Yasushi Satō 佐藤泰志

Yasushi Satō (1949–90) was born in Hakodate, Hokkaido. He set his sights on becoming an author at an early age, and began garnering awards in new-writer contests while still in high school. Moving to Tokyo for university, he helped found multiple small literary magazines both while a student and after graduation. He was diagnosed with autonomic imbalance at around this time. In 1981, he briefly returned to Hakodate and began training to become a carpenter before dropping the course and doubling back to Tokyo to devote himself more completely to his literary activities. His mid-length work Kimi no tori wa utaeru (And Your Bird Can Sing) was shortlisted for the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in 1982, and he was nominated for the prize four additional times over the next few years. The novel Soko nomi nite hikari kagayaku (The Light Shines Only There) was shortlisted for the Mishima Yukio Prize in 1989. He chose to end his own life in 1990. Publication of Satō Yasushi sakuhin-shū (The Works of Yasushi Satō) in 2007 kindled renewed interest in his work and led to film adaptions of Kaitan-shi jokei (Sketches of Kaitan City) and Soko nomi nite hikari kagayaku. A documentary of his life called Kakukoto no omosa (The Burden of Writing) was also released. His cool, almost hardboiled, writing style and the universal appeal of his stories about young people struggling to gain purchase on life seem to have struck a chord with today’s younger generation.

Books by Yasushi Satō
  • Book

    And Your Bird Can Sing

    Shortlisted for the prestigious Akutagawa Prize when it was first published, this work has returned to the limelight nearly 20 years after author Yasushi Satō’s death and is now slated to be made into a feature film for release in 2018. The triangular …

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  • Book

    The Light Shines Only There

    This is the only full-length novel produced by author Yasushi Satō, who took his own life in 1990 at the age of 41, and whose work began undergoing a broad reevaluation nearly two decades later with the publication of the collection Satō Yasushi sakuhin …

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