Shirin Nezammafi

Iranian woman in Japan wins prestigious new author award

Mainichi Daily News: The 108th Bungakukai Shinjinsho, or new author's prize, has been won by Shirin Nezammafi of Iran for her novella "Shiroi Kami," written in Japanese.

The prize, awarded by the Bungei Shunju publishing company, was last given to a foreigner in 2007 when Yang Yi of China was judged best new writer. This is the first time an author from a country that does not use Chinese characters has won the award.

Nezammafi, 29, who was born in Tehran, learned Japanese after arriving in Japan nine years ago. In 2006, she graduated from the Kobe University Graduate School of Engineering, and is currently living in Osaka and working at a major electronics manufacturer as a system engineer.

The prestigious new author's award was established in 1955, and famous recipients include current Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, Saburo Shiroyama, and Shuichi Yoshida. Yang, the first person whose mother tongue was not Japanese to win the award, went on to win the 2008 Akutagawa Award for her work "Toki ga Nijimu Asa."

The story of Nezammafi's "Shiroi Kami" is centered on the fleeting romance of a teenage girl living close to the Iraqi border, set against the backdrop of the Iran-Iraq war.

"Shiroi Kami" and commentary on the work will be published in the June issue of "Bungeikai" magazine, to go on sale on May 7.

Nezammafi also won the 2006 Literature Award for Foreign Students (Ryugakusei Bungakusho) for her work "Salam," about Afghani refugees.


more from Sheema Kalbasi

Afarin, 100 afarin.

by پیام on

I hope that these achievments of Iranians too make it to the front page of international media ( not only the usual BS).


Another dangerous lefty, liberal, rat-bastard, roshanfekr…

by Saman on

That's hot.

Maryam Hojjat

Proud to be IRANIAN!

by Maryam Hojjat on

Because of her achievement and other millions of Iranians' achievements I feel Proud.  These news keep me going!

Payandeh IRAN & Iranians


Azarin Sadegh


by Azarin Sadegh on

Wow! i'm so proud of her! It's awesome that the Iranian literature in Diaspora is getting the attention it deserves!

Plus, it is incredible that not only she has mastered a difficult language such as Japanese in a short period of time, but she has also won this prestigious award! Excellent! Brava!

Thanks Sheema jan for the news!



Great news!

by sfs (not verified) on

Thanks for sharing.


good for her

by AF (not verified) on

All self-respecting Iranians with brains, sooner or later , will live somwhere except in Iran.


Wonderful achievement.

by Sardar (not verified) on

Wonderful achievement. Congratulations! When can we get the Farsi or English editions?



by FD (not verified) on

A great Achievement!
Farid Parsa