Monday, November 01, 2010

Mizushima Hiro accepts grand prize for debut novel

Mizushima Hiro (26) attended the award ceremony for winning the grand prize in a novel competition by publisher Poplar today at its headquarters in Shinjuku. His debut novel 'KAGEROU' was written under the pen-name Saito Tomo Satoshi (edit: 齋藤智 read as Saito Satoshi, according to Yomiuri. His real name is 齋藤智裕 Saito Tomohiro) and chosen as the winner from 1285 entries. The novel fills about 388 pages of a 400-character manuscript paper and has the theme of 'life'. According to the publisher, the novel touches on the idea of saving a life from suicide but ultimately failing and has elements of science fiction. It also commented that while the novel is a little rough around the edges, it has potential and power. 8 out of the 13 judges voted it for the grand prize, which comes with a 20 million yen prize.

Mizushima has declined the prize money and instead requested that it be used to promote literature. Poplar has accepted his request and has plans to hold events such as storytelling in the future.

Below is a transcript of his speech.

First of all, I am extremely honoured to receive such a prestigious award. I am still in disbelief that my novel which to me is an important first step in my life, has won the grand prize amongst all the entries.

Above all else, I am thankful that my work which was submitted without the name Mizushima Hiro was evaluated on its own merit. I thank everyone from Poplar from the bottom of my heart. On this occasion, with so many reporters in attendance, please let me take this opportunity to explain the situation I have caused.

First, to all the fans who have supported us, the reporters and all the parties concerned, I apologize for the surprise announcement (bows deeply). What I want to emphasise is that our relationship with our former agency was amicable to the end. Do not worry about the negative stories. We hold gratitude in our hearts for those who have supported us in the past as we continue our work from now on.

About the resignation, it was my own decision. I was not fired by the agency. We had been discussing it over some time, my reluctance to live a lifestyle revolving around being an actor. The agency then generously pushed me towards the decision and I am in gratitude. We had no intention of refuting any of the information that surfaced after the resignation, we only wanted to correct the one part that was untrue. The agency is not giving information which differs from what had happened and we still hold them in respect.

This has been a long speech. From now on, I will continue with work that revolves around important themes that everyone faces in their life. I want to incorporate important messages in my work and while it is brazen of me to say this, I want to contribute my bit to society, no matter how small it is. I am still inexperienced in many ways now and I look forward to your support from now on. Thank you very much for today (bows repeatedly).

Hiro declining request from reporters to do the 'guts pose'

Hiro & Ayaka Getting Married at the Height of their Popularity
Hiro & Ayaka Press Conference
Hiro & Ayaka Message to Everyone
Mizushima Hiro leaves Ken-on
Why did Mizushima Hiro quit?
Mizushima Hiro denies reports he is retiring from the entertainment world



At first, I thought it might just be a coincidence that the winner is a 26-year-old Saito Tomohiro from Tokyo. The time-frame between his announcing his wish to be a writer and a major win in a literary competition is a little surprising. Around the net, there are talks of people saying they'd like to believe that his win wasn't pre-determined (出来レース dekirace) and also grumblings of how improbable it is to scoop a major award so suddenly no matter how talented he might be. Poplar said the selection process took place on the 25th and it wasn't until the 27th that they met Hiro for the first time and realized that Saito was actually Hiro. I'm a little skeptical but I'd like to believe the best for Hiro :)

Anyway, the novel will almost certainly be a best-seller when it is published. I think the title of the novel, 蜉蝣, means the fleetingness of human life. I hope to read it myself even if I have to look up every other word (p^-^)p

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On Tuesday, November 02, 2010 3:11:00 AM, Blogger Lora wrote...

Hmm. It sounds suspicious too, when I first read the title post that Hiro won an award just like that. However, his speech sounded really sincere and you could see in his eyes that he's honest and blessed that he won the award. I still wish him all the best in life together with his wife. However, there is still something that's bugging me about him winning the award. I guess I'll never know the entire truth, but just the fact that he donated the money and left his agency and to pick his own projects mean that this man has changed his perspective in life. Ayaka may be a reason for it, and if she is, then Hiro deserves all the awards he will get. Because choosing his own projects carefully and leaving your agency at the peak of your career is definitely saying something.

On a shallow note, he gained a bit of weight and still looks hot. Thanks for this post. :)


On Tuesday, November 02, 2010 3:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

he's one hot author :D

congrast to him!


On Sunday, November 21, 2010 12:43:00 PM, Anonymous sadpuppy123 wrote...

hello =) i was wondering how i can watch the clip~~~ thanks!


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