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Sachiko Kashiwaba is a prolific writer of children’s and young adult fantasy whose career spans more than four decades. Her works have garnered the prestigious Sankei, Shogakukan, and Noma children’s literature awards, and her novel The Marvelous Village Veiled in Mist influenced Hayao Miyazaki’s film Spirited Away. Temple Alley Summer received the 2022 Mildred L. Batchelder Award, was a July/August 2021 Kids’ Indie Next Pick, and a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. She lives in Iwate Prefecture.

Sachiko Kashiwaba’s festival appearance is generously supported by The Japan Foundation, Toronto. To learn more about the Foundation and the author’s other events, visit their website.


Fuminori Nakamura was born in 1977 and graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. He has won numerous prizes for his writing, including Japan’s prestigious Ōe Prize; the David L. Goodis Award for Noir Fiction; and the Akutagawa Prize. The Thief, his first novel to be translated into English, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His other novels include Cult X, The Gun, The Kingdom, Evil and the Mask, The Boy in the Earth and Last Winter, We Parted.

Miki Sato is a Japanese-Canadian freelance illustrator who graduated with a degree in Illustration at the Ontario College of Art and Design. She works with different papers, fabrics, and surfaces to create three-dimensional illustrations. Miki was born in Ottawa, and currently resides in Toronto. Her work has appeared in publications including Today’s Parent, The Walrus and Reader’s Digest. Miki’s book Golden Threads, written by Suzanne Del Rizzo is shortlisted for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award.

Eto Mori has been a literary star in Japan for over thirty years. She has won numerous major awards in Japan, including the Naoki Prize, one of Japan’s most prestigious awards for popular fiction. Colorful has been translated into seven languages and adapted into three films. Colorful is her first novel to be translated into English. She lives in Tokyo, Japan. 

Eto Mori’s Festival appearance is generously supported by The Japan Foundation. 

Maki Kashimada’s accolades include the 1998 Bungei Prize for her debut novel, Two, the Mishima Yukio Prize for Love at 6,000 Degrees Celsius, and the Akutagawa Prize for Touring the Land of the Dead, published in English by Europa Editions in 2021.

Born in Japan, Mieko Kawakami made her literary debut as a poet in 2006. Her first novella, My Ego, My Teeth, and the World (2007) was awarded the Tsubouchi Shoyo Prize for Young Emerging Writers. In 2008, Kawakami published Breasts and Eggs as a novella and won Japan’s most prestigious literary award, the Akutagawa Prize. In 2016, she was selected as Granta Best of Young Japanese Novelist. Kawakami has also written novels Heaven and the newly expanded Breasts and Eggs, her first novel to be published in English. She lives in Tokyo.