RARA-AVIS: Kirino interview

From: Mark Hall ( markhall@gol.com)
Date: 24 Oct 2003

Natsuo Kirino

Natsuo Kirino is the pen name of Mariko Hashioka. She is a best selling author in Japan, known for her hard-boiled suspense novels. Her works include Dark, Real World, Mizuno Nemuri Hai no Yume, Kogen, Tenshi ni misuterareta yoru, as well as short stories and essays. Her early work includes romances and stories for manga. A Night without Angels, A Tender Place, and Out were made into feature films. Out, a novel about murder in the Tokyo suburbs, marked her departure from the standard suspense genre. Out is her first book translated into English.
   Hard Boiled Kirino’s Website (Japanese) Kirino in Academe (scroll down) Murder statistics 1984-2001 Life imitates Art

Born in 1951, Ms. Kirino graduated from the law department of Seikei University. She has been bestowed numerous literary honors for her work. She won the Edogawa Ranpo Prize in 1993 for Kao ni furikakaru ame (A Face Wet with Rain) and the Japan Mystery Writers' Association Prize in 1998 for Out. She then won the 121st Naoki Prize for Yawaraka na hoho (Soft Cheeks) in 1999. She lives in Tokyo.


Interview: Summer 2003

While you are well known in Japan for your books—among them Out, Dark, Gyokyuran to name a few. You have won the Edogawa Ranpo prize in 1993 (Kao ni furikakaru ame) the Naoki Prize in 1999 (Yawarakana Hoho). But you are not as well known outside Japan. Out is your first book to be translated into English (although there have been some French and German translations). How would you describe yourself and your writing? What motivates you to write? I am the type of person who always wants to be straightforward in dealing with my emotions, and my way of life, and my will. Because I am a complicated person, I can't otherwise work or live on a day-to-day basis in any sort of healthy manner. 

As for describing my writing, do you mean the methodology behind writing my novels?

If that’s the case, it depends on the theme, and whether or not it takes the form something read in one go or serialized. If it serialized, it’s different if it’s a daily, weekly, or monthly publication. If it’s to be read in one go, you can really dig down into your themes with out much thought to the passing of time. When you serialize, you can enjoy the ever-expanding branches of a story. While I do discover things about myself by writing serials, I prefer to drown in a sea of information I have gathered, and then wrap up my ideas in my head and write in blocks.

rest at


Mark Hall markhall@gol.com

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