Shizuko Natsuki Analysis


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Shizuko Natsuki has enjoyed enormous success and popularity in Japan, publishing more than eighty books. Translations of several of her mysteries have brought her international recognition as a mystery writer. In 1973, she won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Jhatsu (vanishing). In 1989, she was awarded the French Prix du Roman d’Aventure for Daisan no onna (1978; The Third Lady, 1987).


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Copeland, Rebecca L., ed. Women Critiqued: Translated Essays on Japanese Women’s Writing. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006. These essays focus on how female writers have been received in Japan. Places Natsuki’s work in perspective.

Herbert, Rosemary. Review of Murder at Mount Fuji, by Shizuko Natsuki. Library Journal 109, no. 8 (May 1, 1984): 918. Knowing Natsuki’s reputation, the reviewer wonders if the translator did her justice. Finds the novel flawed but captivating.

Klein, Kathleen Gregory, ed. Great Women Mystery Writers: Classic to Contemporary. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994. Contains an essay looking at the life and earlier works of Natsuki.

“Musings.” The Daily Yomiuri, April 3, 2004, p. 1. This editorial bemoans the increase in violent crime and murder in Japan. It quotes Natsuki, in her Ittari kitari memoir, as saying that writing about crime is becoming more difficult as actual crimes are more horrific than anything she could create.

Pollack, David. Reading Against Culture: Ideology and Narrative in the Japanese Novel. Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1992. This work examines how culture interacts with modern Japanese fiction. Although it does not cover Natsuki’s work, it helps readers understand Japanese fiction.

Stasio, Marilyn. “Crime.” Review of Innocent Journey, by Shizuko Natsuki. The New York Times, May 14, 1989, p. A30. Reviewer finds her style less elegant than that of Seichf Matsumoto, another famous Japanese mystery writer, but praises her storytelling.

Vernon, Victoria. Daughters of the Moon: Wish, Will and Social Constraint in Fiction by Modern Japanese Women. Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, 1988. Although this work does not touch specifically on Natsuki, it reveals her place within the large scope of Japanese female writers.