Shun Medoruma was born in Nakijin, Okinawa on October 6, 1960. After graduating from the University of Ryukyus, he worked as a guard and later as a teacher. He resigned from teaching in 2003. He has written unique novels that are based on Okinawan nature, history, and climate, focusing especially on the Battle of Okinawa and memories of that war experience. Two of his best stories, Suiteki” and Mabuigumi” are concerned with war memory. Medoruma also focuses on the current base issue and how the US military impacts on Okinawa. Another element of Medoruma’s fiction is his use of uchina-guchi or Okinawan language. Medoruma often expresses his strong anti-base political views through his articles in the local newspapersand in his blog.
11th Ryukyu Shinpo Short Story Prize in 1983 for Gyogunki [Diary of a School of Fish].”
12th New Okinawa Literature Prize in 1986 for Heiwa dori to nazukerareta machi o aruite.”
27th Kyushu Arts Literature Prize in 1997 for Suiteki.”
117th Akutagawa Prize in 1997 for Suiteki.”
26th Yasunari Kawabata Literary Award in 2000 for Mabuigumi [Soul-Stuffing].”
Shohei Kiyama Literary Award in 2000 for Mabuigumi [Soul-Stuffing].”
Takuma Sminkey (né Paul Sminkey) (Translator) is a professor in the Department of British and American Language and Culture at Okinawa International University. He has been living in Japan for over twenty years and acquired Japanese citizenship in 2010. He received a master’s degree in English literature from Temple University and a master’s in Advanced Japanese Studies from Sheffield University. His translations include A Rabbit’s Eyes by Haitani Kenjiro (2005) and IchigensanThe Newcomer by David Zoppetti (2011).
Kyle Ikeda (Afterword) received his doctorate in Japanese from the University of HawaiiManoa in 2007 and is now an associate professor at the University of Vermont. He is one of the leading researchers in English on Medoruma Shun. His comprehensive analysis of Medoruma’s work, Okinawan War Memory: Transgenerational Trauma and the War Fiction of Medoruma, was published in 2014.