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Original title:



Original language



Publication info:

Kawade Shobō Shinsha

10 September 2020


144 pages



Literary fiction

Rights handled by New River

Foreign rights excl. Asia, France, Italy

Film/tv rights excl. Japan

Rights sold:

China (Shanghai Insight Media)

Denmark (Korridor)

France (Picquier)

Germany (Kiepenheuer & Witsch)

Indonesia (Gramedia)

Italy (E/O)

Korea (Media Changbi)

North America (HarperVia)

Poland (Relacja)

Russia (AST)

Taiwan (Delight Press)

Thailand (Mind and Thought)

UK & Comm ex Can (Canongate)

Vietnam (Nha Nam)

World Spanish (Océano)

Idol, Burning
 by Rin Usami

Winner of the 164th (2021) Akutagawa Prize


Akari is a high school student with learning difficulties. She has only one passion in her life: her 'oshi', namely her idol. His name is Masaki Ueno, and he is a member of Maza Maza, a five-person Japanese idol band. Akari’s devotion to her oshi consumes her days completely. She keeps a blog entirely devoted to her oshi, piously chronicling and analysing all the events Masaki attends. She describes him as the spine of her life, someone she cannot survive without. Yet, when Masaki is rumoured to have assaulted a female fan and facing waves of social media backlash, hence 'moyu' (a word literally meaning burning), Akari's world falls apart . . .

Written in an unusually mature style, Oshi, Moyu offers a fascinating insight into the otaku culture in Japan, and more universally, into fandom and adolescence. Usami brings us into Akari's world, into her passions, anxieties, struggles, and despair. Akari reminds us of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, yet her painful coming of age, her loneliness and alienation from the world, brings her closer to J. D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield. A 21st century Catcher in the Rye, and 'a masterpiece that brilliantly captures our times and should be preserved for future archaeologists' (Ryo Asai, 2013 Naoki Prize winner). 

About the author


Born in 1999, Rin Usami is a university student. Her debut novel Kaka won the 56th Bungei Prize and the 33rd Mishima Yukio Prize. Her second novel Oshi, Moyu won the 2021 Akutagawa Prize. 

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