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New Release: ‘One Love Chigusa’, a love story by Soji Shimada, that explores the mechanics of the heart and humankind’s inevitable evolution

Cover of One Love Chigusa by Soji Shimada, the sixth title in the critically acclaimed series of short Japanese books in English, Red Circle Minis. Image: Red Circle Authors Limited

One Love Chigusa, a new work by one of Japan’s most renowned authors Soji Shimada, will be published on 6 August 2020 by Red Circle. This new story is a tale of obsessive love in a world in which technology has crept into the very heart of humanity. 

The year is 2091 AD. A horrendous motorcycle accident leaves Xie Hoyu coming to terms with his new cybernetic body. Reconstructed from the latest biomechanical prosthetics, he is discharged from hospital and tries to return to his life as an illustrator after many weeks in recovery. 

While surgery saves his life, existence for Xie has lost all meaning. His saviour comes in the form of a girl with whom Xie falls hopelessly in love. But all is not as it seems. 

One Love Chigusa, an homage to the great artist and creator of Astro Boy, Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989), is being published as part of Red Circle Minis, a series of short captivating books by Japan’s finest contemporary writers that brings the narratives and voices of Japan together as never before. 

Each book is a first edition written specifically for the series and is being published in English first before any other language including Japanese. 

Translated by Sir David Warren, a retired diplomat and former British ambassador to Japan, One Love Chigusa, offers a glimpse into a possible future and questions the very purpose of humanity in a unique way that could only come from the pen of Japan’s master of the postmodern whodunnit.

To order One Love Chigusa please click here.

The Author:

Soji Shimada’s debut novel, The Tokyo Zodiac Murders (translated by Ross Mackenzie and Shika Mackenzie), is ranked among the ‘top five best locked-room mysteries published worldwide’ (Adrian McKinty, The Guardian). An instant classic, it transformed him into ‘Japan’s Man of Mystery’ and one of the country’s bestselling authors.

His novel Murder in the Crooked House (translated by Louise Heal Kawai) was a Sunday Times Best Book of the Year. He is also known for his Detective Mitarai series (published by Pushkin Vertigo) and the Detective Yoshiki series. Shimada is the recipient of the Japan Mystery Literature Award and the founder of three literary awards: Amateur Mystery Novel contests, The City of Roses Fukuyama Mystery Award and the Soji Shimada Mystery Award.

The Translator:

Sir David Warren was British ambassador to Japan from 2008 to 2012, having served twice before in the British Embassy in Tokyo during his career as British diplomat.

He is now honorary professor at Sheffield University, a member of the Board of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures at the University of East Anglia, and was Chair of the council of the University of Kent until July 2020. From 2013 to 2019 he was Chairman of the Japan Society, the leading independent body in the United Kingdom dedicated to UK-Japanese cultural, educational and business contacts.

 What the reviewers are saying: 

‘Everything about this series’ intention and design is steeped in Japanese culture… the books are thematically diverse [and] signal a cultural exchange… communicating directly and intentionally with Western audiences through fiction.’ TLS

‘Their very compactness sets them apart as rather special and even luxurious, in a way that accentuates the distinctive appeal of a self-contained Japanese short story.’ Wasafiri, the Journal of International Contemporary Writing

‘Small books for big brains’

‘Beautiful pocket-sized slices of Japanese literature’

‘An incredible window into the zeitgeist of modern Japanese society’

Display of the first five books published in the series Red Circle Minis. Photograph: 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:
    • Soji Shimada
      About Soji Shimada:
      Soji Shimada is the master of postmodern whodunnits who originally wanted to become a painter turned instead to reinventing the art of mystery writing. His debut novel, The Tokyo Zodiac Murders, now ranked among the top five best locked-room mysteries published worldwide, became an instant classic, transforming him into Japan’s Man of Mystery and one of the country's bestselling authors.