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Mitsuyo Kakuta was born in 1967, in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. She graduated from Waseda University’s School of Literature. In 1990, her debut novel Kōfuku na yūgi (A Blissful Pastime) won the Kaien Prize for New Writers. Her subsequent books have won a string of awards and prizes, including the 1996 Noma Prize for Literature for Madoromu yoru no UFO (Dozy Night UFO), the 1998 Tsubota Jōji Literature Award for Boku wa kimi no onii-san (I Am Your Brother), the 1999 Sankei Children’s Book Fuji TV Award and the 2000 Robo-no-Ishi Literary Award for Kiddonappu tsuā (Kidnap Tour), the 2001 Fujin Kōron Literary Prize for Kūchū teien (Hanging Garden), the 2005 Naoki Prize for Woman On the Other Shore, the 2006 Kawabata Yasunari Prize for Rokku haha (Rock Mother), the Chūō Kōronsha Prize in 2007 for The Eighth Day, the 2011 Itō Sei Literary Prize for Tsurīhausu (Tree House), the Shibata Renzaburō Award for Kami no tsuki (Paper Moon) and the Izumi Kyōka Prize for her short story collection Kanata no ko (The Child from Beyond) in 2012, and the Kawai Hayao Story Prize in 2014 for Watashi no naka no kanojo (The Woman inside Me). She has also appeared on the judging panels for many literary prizes. Other notable works include Sangatsu no shōtaijō (The March Invitation), Mori ni nemuru snake (Snakes That Sleep in the Forest) and Kuma-chan. Many of her works have also been televised and made into films.