News On Japan

Rie Kudan Wins Akutagawa Prize with "Sympathy Tower of Tokyo"

Rie Kudan, the Akutagawa Prize Winner, Secures the Award on Her Second Nomination

TOKYO, Jan 18 (News On Japan) - The 170th Akutagawa Prize selection meeting was held in Tokyo on the 17th, where Rie Kudan's "Tokyo Metropolitan Tower of Sympathy" was chosen for the award. The Naoki Prize selection is still ongoing.

Rie Kudan is a 33-year-old from Saitama Prefecture. After graduating from university, she worked as a research assistant and made her debut as a novelist in 2021 by winning a newcomer's award in a literary magazine with her work "Bad Music". This is her second nomination for the Akutagawa Prize, following "Schoolgirl" in the 166th selection two years ago, and it has now brought her the prestigious award.

Her winning work, "Tokyo Metropolitan Tower of Sympathy", is set in a future Japan where a high-rise tower, designed as a comfortable detention facility for criminals based on the notion that "criminals are people who deserve sympathy", is built in a park in Shinjuku. The story portrays a female architect who designed the tower as she experiences discomfort with the excessively tolerant society and the pervasive presence of generative AI, and despite her struggles, she lives her life with strength.

Source: NHK


Japan Post has announced its first price increase in nearly 30 years, set to take effect this fall, unveiling new stamps and postcards.

Canadian police have arrested a 32-year-old man for the fatal stabbing of Japanese chef Wataru Kakiuchi in Vancouver's Chinatown last week.

A woman died after being trapped by her neck in an escalator at a Tokyo supermarket on Wednesday morning, highlighting the need for improved safety measures in the wake of similar incidents.

An extremely rare golden snake has been sighted in Kitakyushu City. The snake is identified as a Takachiho snake, an endangered nocturnal species native to Fukuoka Prefecture and other areas. Typically brown, this specimen is an albino, lacking pigmentation.

Two women, aged 21 and 19, were arrested for the murder of a high school girl from Rumoi City, Hokkaido, after allegedly pushing her off a bridge in Asahikawa City.



Rakugo performer Katsura Zakoba has passed away on June 12 due to asthma at the age of 76.

A university student has been arrested on suspicion of trespassing at a junior high school in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture, after a shocked staff member found the man in a closet wrapped in a futon.

An 80-year-old man has been arrested in Chiba Prefecture for keeping weakened cats in deplorable conditions with accumulated feces and failing to provide proper care.

Former President of Presance Corporation, Shinobu Yamagishi (61), who was acquitted of embezzlement charges, has filed a lawsuit seeking 770 million yen in compensation from the government, claiming illegal interrogation by the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office.

A large swarm of bees was found gathering on the sidewalk in front of Tokyo's Shinjuku Station on Tuesday afternoon, with authorities urging people to avoid creating a disturbance.

Two gang members have been arrested for allegedly harassing a reporter in Tokyo's Kabukicho district.

A Brazilian man drowned while trying to save an elementary school student who was drowning in Lake Hamana, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Saturday.

An explosion and fire at the Osaka-Kansai Expo construction site in March has been detailed by a male worker who was near the scene. In early June, he provided his account to the Asahi Shimbun, along with photos showing damage not previously disclosed by the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition.