Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for Literature

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Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for Literature

An annual prize established in 1967 in memory of the tremendously popular historical novelist Eiji Yoshikawa (1892–1962), who produced some 80 novels, many of them bestsellers, and came to be regarded as "the people's author." His works include the monumental multi-volume novels Musashi (abridged tr. 1981; original title Miyamoto Musashi) and The Heike Story (abridged tr. 1956; original title Shin Heike monogatari).

With Seicho Matsumoto as its first recipient and Sohachi Yamaoka, Renzaburo Shibata, and Ryotaro Shiba among the early awardees, the prize initially honored works of historical or period fiction popular with the reading public, but in recent years its focus has been broadened to include other categories of genre fiction. It most frequently goes to a well-established author for the kind of work that could become his or her magnum opus, and is one of the highest honors aspired to by best-selling authors of entertainment fiction. The winner is customarily announced at the beginning of March each year, together with the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers and the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for Culture. The awards ceremony takes place in early April.