Writer Ikeido wins Naoki Prize


Jun Ikeido has won the Na­o­ki Prize for seasoned writers for his work “Shi­ta­ma­chi Rocket,” a story about a small rocket component factory in an old downtown area.

The selection committee, however, didn’t name a winner for the Akutagawa Prize, awarded biannually to promising writers of serious fiction.

Ikeido, a 48-year-old native of Gi­fu Prefecture and a former bank employee, received the award Thursday for his novel about a small factory trying to win an order to manufacture a key component for a Japanese rocket.

“I am genuinely happy. I hope people will be encouraged afresh to strive by reading my novel,” he said at a news conference in Tokyo, referring to the people affected by the March 11 disaster.

Novelist Shi­zu­ka Iju­in, a member of the selection committee for the ¥1 million prize, said Ike­i­do described those who deserve to be saved and the viewpoint makes the book outstanding after the March 11 disaster.

For the Aku­ta­ga­wa Prize, neither of the two finalists — To En­jo and Aki­to In­ui — won a majority of votes, according to selection committee member Ei­mi Ya­ma­da.

“There was no novel that showed that the author devoted something in himself or herself to it,” Ya­ma­da said.