London, UK

Announcing Red Circle Minis: A Unique New Series of Short Japanese Books in English

Covers of the first three books in the Red Circle Minis series published in November 2018. Image: Red Circle Authors Limited
Red Circle will publish the first three titles in its Red Circle Minis series this November. These Japanese short and compelling books (with the exception of one – Tokyo Performance, which was written in English) have been carefully translated with the aim of bringing the best contemporary voices in Japanese literature to an English speaking audience.

The authors that will feature in this unique series are already well-established on the Japanese literary scene, and most are already prize-winners in their native country. Each has written a book specifically for the series that will be published in English before any other language, including Japanese. 

Stand-In Companion by Kazufumi Shiraishi is a touching and powerful exploration of infertility and relationships set in a future world where humans aren’t quite what they seem.  Shiraishi is a winner of the acclaimed Naoki Prize and has written more than a dozen novels.

Tokyo Performance by Roger Pulvers is a wry look at the cost of fame through the very public breakdown of a narcissistic celebrity chef. Author, playwright and film director, Pulvers came to Japan in 1967 and lists the Kenji Miyazawa Prize among his many achievements.

Backlight by Kanji Hanawa takes us to the mountains of Northern Japan where a child is missing, and leads us deep into the Japanese psyche. Hanawa is a master of the short story and has been shortlisted for the prestigious Akutagawa Literary Prize.

Red Circle Authors Limited, a new independent London-based publisher, is the brainchild of publishing veterans Richard Nathan (formerly Macmillan) and Koji Chikatani (TranNet, Japan’s leading literary translation agency).

Friends for more than 20 years, Nathan and Chikatani knew that there was a treasure trove of contemporary Japanese writers who simply weren’t being read outside Japan. They founded Red Circle Authors with the aim of bringing these literary voices to a new audience.  

Japan’s long history of blending brevity and beauty, as well as the nation’s history of elegant and brilliantly creative short form literary formats, are the reasons why Red Circle has decided to launch its publishing programme with this series of mini books. 

Over the next twelve months, more Red Circle Minis will be published. All the authors that are part of Red Circle’s select curated group of writers have agreed to write at least one original story for the series.

“We are very excited and honoured to be representing such acclaimed authors, and translating and publishing new works that have not been read anywhere in the world before now,” says Nathan. 

The Red Circle Minis will be available from the 23 November, Japanese Labor Thanksgiving Day, as paperbacks at £7.50 and also as ebooks at £3.99. 

Red Circle Authors Limited is actively seeking like-minded partners who wish to bring Japan’s finest contemporary writers, and the narratives and voices of Japan, to new readers around the world. Worldwide language rights, including Japanese, to the series are available.


Red Circle Minis: Original, Short and Compelling Reads

Covers of the first three books in the Red Circle Minis series published in November 2018. Image: Red Circle Authors Limited



  • RedCircle
    About Red Circle:
    Red Circle Authors Limited is a specialist publishing and communications company that conducts bespoke projects on behalf of a carefully selected and curated group of leading Japanese authors. Red Circle showcases Japan’s best creative writing. For more information on Red Circle, Japanese literature, and Red Circle authors please visit:
    • Kanji Hanawa
      About Kanji Hanawa:
      Kanji Hanawa, a former professor of French literature is a master of the shorty story. He wrote hundreds and dedicated his life to writing short stories and novella about life in ancient, modern and contemporary Japan. Two of his short stories have been shortlisted for the prestigious Akutagawa Literary Prize. Hanawa’s tales reflect a deep interest in human psychology and complex relationships – whose narratives expose the pressures and challenges of life in Japan.
    • Kazufumi Shiraishi
      About Kazufumi Shiraishi:
      Kazufumi Shiraishi had a successful career, spanning two decades, as a journalists working for one of Japan's highest profile monthly magazines, Bungeishinju, before following in the steps of his father and twin brother becoming a full time author. He is a deeply thoughtful author who writes about love, life and the human condition and is unique in being the only Japanese author to follow in his father’s footsteps by winning the same major Japanese literary prize.
    • Roger Pulvers
      About Roger Pulvers:
      Roger Pulvers is an author, playwright, theatre director, and translator. He has published more than 50 books in Japanese and English, including novels, essays, plays, and poetry. Helping make Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, and befriending David Bowie brought him back to Japan and inspired him to become the award-winning and prolific author, playwright, film director he is today. His recent novel, Hoshizuna Monogatari (Star Sand), which he wrote in Japanese, was published by Kodansha, Japan’s largest publisher, in 2015 and subsequently in English and French in 2016 and 2017 respectively. It was released as a film, directed by him, in 2017.