The Hans Christian Andersen Award

2014 - Nahoko Uehashi

Born: 15 July 1962, Tokyo, Japan

Author's quote: "There was surely no such thing as a life without any regrets at all."

Field: Children's Literature

Prize share: 1/1

Books Written By Nahoko Uehashi

About Nahoko Uehashi

Uehashi's career as a writer started in 1989. Her first book was The Sacred Tree. She then wrote the novel O God, Sleep Ye in The Forest of Moon. This novel received an award from the Japanese Association of Writers for Children, which made her one of the famous Japanese-fantasy authors.

In 1996, she published the first book of her Moribito series, Guardian of the Spirit. The novel received the Noma Children's Literature New Face Prize and the Sankei Children's Culture and Publishing award and the English translation was awarded the Mildred L. Batchelder Award in 2009.In 1999, Uehashi published the second book of the Moribito series, Guardian of the Darkness. With this novel she received the Japanese Association of Writers for Children's award. In 2002 The Guardian series won the Iwaya Sazanami literature award, and in 2003, Guardian of the God won another Japanese award from the Shogakukan publishing company. Then, in 2003, Uehashi wrote the novel Beyond the Fox Whistle, which received a Noma Children's Literature award. In 2006 she wrote the two volume Kemono no Sōja, lit. "The Beast Player", which she complemented with two more volumes in 2009.

Both Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and the first two volumes of Kemono no Sōja have had anime adaptations, in 2007and 2009, respectively. Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit has also been made into a radio drama and Kemono no Sōja into a manga.

For her "lasting contribution" as a children's writer, Uehashi won the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2014. Announced late in March, it will be presented on 10 September at the annual conference of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) in Mexico City. According to the IBBY jury chaired by María Jesús Gil of Spain, "Uehashi tells stories that are replete with imagination, culture and the beauty of a sophisticated process and form. Her literary subjects are based on ancient Japanese mythology and science-fiction fantasy that are deeply rooted in human reality."


Gardian of the Darkness - Nahoko Uehashi

By E.J. Brown

This is the second part to the amazing Moribito series, and it continues with Balsa's journey to Kanbal. I enjoyed this book immensely (even better than the first!) and I began researching Amazon for the remaining 9 books in the series. Unfortunately - Scholastic (the U.S. publishers) have decided not to continue printing any more of the Moribito series. I was devastated! If anyone from a publishing company reads this - please continue the series! It's absolutely wonderful and a true joy to read. Well, here's hoping.....


Gardian of the Darkness - Nahoko Uehashi

By Vnikey

The second book of the Moribito-series, as fascinating and mystical as the first one, gives the reader a deeper look into Balsa's past and her nature. Reading this second part, I noticed that the anime of "Guardian of the Spirit" (the first book) beautifully portrayed Balsa's complex character as the book series reveals it only progressively to the reader. "Guardian of the Darkness" has been wonderfully translated by Cathy Hirano. Her 2009-Mildred-Batchelder-Award for outstanding translation is well deserved indeed.