2012 Prizewinners & critique

2010 Prizewinners & critique

2010 Prizewinners & critique
Japanese English Chinese Korean

Grand Prize:Uraemma / Fumi Nakamura

Grand Prize:ENMA / Fumi Nakamura

Grand Prize:A Caring Man / Akira Arai

Grand Prize:A Caring Man / Akira Arai

Adjudicator's Special Encouragement Award:Madoka / Kyuhachi Masumoto

Adjudicator's Special Encouragement Award:Madoka / Kyuhachi Masumoto

General Statement

General Statement

Prizewinners for the 1st Golden Elephant Award were selected from over 150 entries. Two winners are Fumi Namamura for "Enma" (originally "Ura-Enma") and Akira Arai for "A Caring Man". In the Jury process, initial entries were narrowed down to 5 finalists and proceeded to the final selection sessions by 5 juries from Japan, USA, China, and Korea.

The criteria for selection was "ranking system by points" given by 5 juries, and "Enma" and "A Caring Man" were tied. Further discussion sessions took place over and over without being able to agree to select one of the two. Incessant debates among juries touched the fundamental purpose of the award, which is to produce and publish promising entertainment stories in multiple languages in the global arena. From this perspective, 5 juries reached a conclusion to provide the positive opportunity and award these two very different stories the Grand Prize.

Eventually, both authors accepted the Prize and agreed to partially re-write the works as requested by juries, and also agreed to the new term of Prize money in 2 million yen per person, which was initially 3 million yen granted to single winner.

Last but not least, juries selected "Madoka", which unfortunately missed the Grand Prize, and given Adjudicator's Special Encouragement Award for its keen sense of connecting Economics theories with novel story.

Golden Elephant Award Committee

Comment from Jury

Comment from Jury
ENMA - Fumi Nakamura

The story is in perfection for historical fantasy genre. Through the genius idea of carving "Tattoo" to make someone "Immortal", changing scenes from Meiji Restoration to Showa Era of Japan, well-planned episodes and elaborate descriptions of each era allow readers to immerse themselves into the deep book-reading experience. Colorful characters are so intriguing that one can imagine spin-off episodes of the same world settings. Since the main character is immortal, the heroine of his love ages and passes his entire life through her childhood, adult, to the elder, which beautifully enchants us by the theme of eternal love. The author's decadent style of composition also adds so much to the depicted revolutionary times of Japan, desperate and hopeful at the same time. In contrast to overflowing sub-genres of recent historical/fantasy novels, this is a solid, spectacular epic for entertainment story for general audience.

In 19th century, feudal Japan was just steps away from the Meiji Restoration. A low-class Samurai named "Amane" from Choshu province was in escape from Shogunate Special Police Unit called Shinsengumi. He was fatally injured from sword scars and rolled into a small shack of a tattooist called "Baikou" Baikou saw Amane's life is in peril, then he decided to tattoo a cursed, forbidden marking on his hand. The technique was called "Oni-Gome" or Evil Interjection. Amane lived but he then loaded himself with a burden to be immortal. Amane then became apprentice to Baikou and learned the technique to be the life-controlling tattooist and called himself "Enma".
Enma secretly saved some lives and encounter many unspeakable hardships of people under revolutionary dark times. One day, Enma learned that there was another tattooist who used the same "Oni-Gome" technique. The rival's name was "Yasha". The evil tattooist Yasha brought incidents to the life of Enma and they both live for ages under severe confrontations for more than 100 years. Beside of Enma, there was always "Natsu" a girl of the deceased friend and the love of Enma the whole time. However due to the immortality, Enma never aged while even Natsu passed the age of Enma....

Fumi Nakamura

Born in 1961.
Housewife and mother of two high-school students.

Author's Comment

It's been quite a while since I started to write something in the style of novel. There were times I couldn't pick up my pen, but I was able to continue because I liked writing. I cannot be more thankful to the juries to pick my work. Thank you very much.

:A Caring Man - Akira Arai

Plot is flawlessly well designed, and shocking criminal incidents occurring in such pace and rhythmical manner grab readers attention until the very end. Some might argue that Indiscriminate Terrorism is an imprudent topic for fiction, but portraying inner psyche of the main character's "Rebel without a Cause" to break our assumptions on terrorists' "political motives" was persuading and somehow realistic. Acts of ultimate evil are well accepted by "general audience" and by "youth" worldwide. With overall quality of writing, technique, contemporary theme, and pure entertainment in mind, "A Caring Man" is without question suitable for the Grand Prize.

In 1991, an infant boy was dropped at Jiiku Hospital in Miyazaki Prefecture, which launched a salvage system "STORK POST" to rescue unwanted child. The boy was heavily suffering from knife wounds but barely survived by great care at the hospital and named "Shigeo Iizuka" after the first doctor and his hospital. Growing up healthily and brightly, Shigeo becomes notorious public enemy for Japan. He plots murders and terrorizes the city in various sizes and magnitude. Tokyo Metropolitan Police Dept. set out a joint force between the Detective's Department and Public safety Department to hunt him down, however in vein. On the other hand, by founding an NPO called "Protection for Ill-Treated", Shigeo fabricates himself as idealist to approach the heroine "Mariko Okamoto" a photographer from a major publisher.....

Akira Arai

Born in 1956.
Full-time employer at a major record label.

Author's Comment

I thank those who helped me to collect materials for writing. It was a new work that came out of the process of seeking entertainment by adding realism to my own thoughts. I think it was my simple desire to win the award that made me achieve what I couldn't before.

Madoka - Kyuhachi Masumoto

For the Adjudicator's Special Encouragement Award, juries selected "Madoka" for his witty ideas and keen sense of connecting Economics theories with novel story.

Organizer:Golden Elephant Award Committee