It's a very confusing experience living as a woman in Japan. If your husband is white-collar, the wife is blue. Even if you marry a person of status, the wife inevitably remains a rung below.
One of my books, 'Rain Falling on My Face,' earned me the 39th Edogawa Ranpo prize. It's a very prestigious literary prize in Japan, mostly for mysteries and thrillers.
In Japan, full-time homemakers have no economic power of their own, and they socially lead a faceless, anonymous existence.
The thing I don't like about detective stories is looking for criminals.
I started writing juvenile novels around 1985. I never really thought of it as a career, but more as a way to make a living.
For research, I like to go to the location of the places in the novels. The first thing that I do is involve my senses: I notice the smells; I open the trash cans and look at what people have thrown away.
I first thought about becoming a writer after the age of 30, which is rather late, I'd say. In my 20s, I wasn't especially good at anything, and I didn't have a lot of experiences. I was just a young woman without a good job.
A crime is like a crack in reality, and it is the author's role to explore those cracks. As a writer, I like to see how they impinge on people.
I'm happy to be told that I am beautiful, but I don't gain anything from that.
I don't know if foreigners will take to my novels or not. It may be that my books appeal only to a particular gender or age group rather than convey a more universal appeal.
'Out' was my real breakthrough, the novel that became a hit in Japan and sold a lot of books, so it was sort of an obvious choice for being the first book to be translated into English.
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