Shibata Renzaburo Award

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Shibata Renzaburo Award

A prize established in 1988 in memory of the bestselling author Renzaburo Shibata (1917–78) and his body of work. Shibata is known especially for his tales of master swordsmen, including the Nemuri Kyoshiro series with its nihilistic, invincible hero, and is credited with having breathed fresh air into period and historical fiction.

Presented to writers who are well established in their careers, the prize canvasses the full range of genre fiction. Eligible for consideration are works published from July of the previous year to the end of June in the prize year. The winner is announced by Shueisha at the end of November.

The inaugural award went to Osamu Takahashi, a writer associated with period and historical fiction, for his two novels Wakarete nochi no koiuta (Love Song after the Breakup) and Na mo naki michi o (On a Nameless Road). In 2009 the award was shared by Setsuko Shinoda and Yuka Murayama, both of whom gained their first foothold as writers by winning the Shosetsu Subaru New Writers' Award, also sponsored by Shueisha. The new honor came for both of them after more than fifteen years of turning out numerous bestsellers.