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Tatsuhiro Oshiro

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Name  Tatsuhiro Oshiro

Role  Novelist
Tatsuhiro Oshiro Ryukyu no eiketsutachi Japanese Edition Tatsuhiro Oshiro

Books  Okinawa: Two Postwar Novellas

Tatsuhiro Ōshiro (大城 立裕, Ōshiro Tatsuhiro, born 19 September 1925) is a Japanese novelist and playwright. He was awarded the Akutagawa Prize in 1967 for his novella of the same year, The Cocktail Party, which has been adapted for the stage and made into a film. Ōshiro has also been an innovator of the traditional Ryukyuan narrative dance form known as kumi odori. Having added twenty new pieces to the repertoire, Ōshiro is credited as having "single-handedly revived the genre that originated in the 18th century" by incorporating Okinawa shibai (dramas in the Okinawan language) and distinctive rhythms to construct a fluid, hybrid cultural identity. His writings have been noted for making Okinawan culture and history accessible to Japanese readership, while his more popular works have been critically praised for "offering an acute perspective on the psychological and moral implications of war and military occupation."


Education & Background

In 1943, Ōshiro enrolled at Tōa Dobunshoin University (East Asian University of Literature), a Japanese institution of higher education established in Shanghai’s Hongqiao neighborhood. In 1946, he returned to Japan following the nation's defeat in World War II and worked as a high school teacher. He later worked in the governmental offices of Okinawa Prefecture, where he was in charge of editing materials in the fields of economics and history. From 1983 to 1986, he served as the director of the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum.


Many of Oshiro's works depict the complex, controversial geopolitics of Okinawa. His stories show individuals caught in the turmoil of historical conditions such as the transformation of the premodern Ryukyu Kingdom into a prefecture of modern Japan, Okinawa's post-World War II military occupation by the United States, and the island's extensive hosting of U.S. military bases in the 21st century despite widespread local opposition and protests.

The Cocktail Party

His first major success was The Cocktail Party, for which he won an Akutagawa Prize in 1967, becoming the first Okinawan author to earn the distinction. The novella tells the story of an Okinawan man, the narrator, who is invited to a house party on a U.S. base also attended by American, Chinese, and Japanese guests. During the party, the narrator is forced to navigate a conversational minefield due to the cultural perceptions and divergent political views among the guests. When he returns home that evening, he learns that his daughter was raped by the U.S. serviceman renting a room from him. When he turns to friends and acquaintances, he discovers that unresolved historical issues will impede justice for his daughter.

The novella has been noted for addressing the epidemic of military rape, exemplified in such incidents as the Yumiko-chan incident, in which efforts to pursue criminal charges against a U.S. soldier over the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl were hampered by Okinawa's extraterritoriality.

In 2015, The Cocktail Party was made into an independent film directed by Regge Life. The novella has been adapted for the stage, with a premiere at the Hawaii Okinawa Center in 2011.


  • Akutagawa Prize for The Cocktail Party, 1967
  • Medal of Honor, Purple Ribbon (Shiju Hōshō), 1990
  • Okinawa Times Prize, 1991
  • Taiko Hirabayashi Literary Prize, 1993
  • Person of Cultural Merit, 1995
  • Order of the Rising Sun, 1996
  • Ryūkyū Shinpō Prize, 1998
  • Okinawa Person of Merit, 2000
  • Yasunari Kawabata Literary Prize, 2015
  • References

    Tatsuhiro Oshiro Wikipedia