Information about Children and Books in Japan

Major children's literature awards in Japan

The Asahi Gakusei Shimbunsha Jidou Bungaku Shou
(The Asahi Gakusei Shimbunsha Children's Literature Award)

Organizer The Asahi Gakusei Shimbunsha
Year of foundation 2009
Works suitable for the award Novels for senior elementary school children. Unpublished original works written in Japanese.
Timing of announcement March
Description This award was established to find high-quality novels which delight and make a lasting impression to children.

The Iwaya Sazanami Literature Award

Organizer Japanese Culture Foundation for Youths
Year of foundation 1978
Works suitable for the award Works (e.g. Stories for children, story retelling, light literature works for children, translation works, playwriting and editing) or achievements presented in a year.
Timing of announcement July
Description This award was established to commemorate the achievements of Iwaya Sazanami who led the youth culture as a pioneer and succeed his will in the society. This award goes to pioneering performances in the youth culture.

Ogawa Mimei Bungaku Shou (Ogawa Mimei Literary Award)

Organizer Ogawa Mimei Bungaku Shou Iinkai, Jyoetsu city
(Ogawa Mimei Literary Award Committee)
Year of foundation 1992
Works suitable for the award Unpublished original children's literature for junior or middle elementary school children.
Timing of announcement November
Description This award was established to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of Mimei Ogawa, who is referred to as the father of modern Japanese fairy tales. Children's literature works which foster dreams and hopes in children's mind receive this award.

Kembuchi Picture Book Village Grand Prize

Organizer Kembuchi Ehon No Sato Zukuri Jikkou Iinkai
(Kembuchi Picture Book Village Executive Committee)
Year of foundation 1991
Works suitable for the award Picture books applied for "Kembuchi Picture Book Village Grand Prize" published by domestic publishers from April 1 of the previous year to March 31 of the current year.
Timing of announcement October
Description This award was established to deepen understanding and cooperation for building Kembuchi Picture Book Village to contribute to the development of children's culture by publicizing the village. Grand Prize-winners are elected by a ballot of visitors to Kembuchi Picture Book Library and Museum.

Kodansha Picture Book Newcomer Award

Organizer Kodansha
Year of foundation 1959
Works suitable for the award Original unpublished picture books for infants and children.
Timing of announcement August
Description This award was established to commemorate the 70th foundation anniversary of Kodansha with expectation of works which cause momentum to produce new original picture books.

Kodansha Award of Children's Literature for Newcomers

Organizer Kodansha
Year of foundation 1959
Works suitable for the award Original unpublished novels and long fairy tales for children.
Timing of announcement September-October
Description This award was established as "Kodansha children's literary works" to commemorate the 50th foundation anniversary of Kodansha and changed the name to the current one from the 5th award.

Kodansha Publication Culture Award for Children's Books

Organizer Kodansha
Year of foundation 1970
Works suitable for the award Picture books published from March 1 of the previous year to the end of February of the current year.
Timing of announcement April
Description This award was established to commemorate the 60th foundation anniversary of Kodansha. The purposes of this award are to exploit new fields, elevate quality, and ameliorate the culture of publishing in five fields such as illustration, photographs, book design, children's comics (independently established as "Kodansha Manga Award" in 1977) and picture books.

Sankei Juvenile Literature Publishing Culture Award

Organizer Sankei Shimbun Co., Ltd.
Year of foundation 1954
Works suitable for the award Children's books published the first edition from January 1 to December 31 of the previous year (excluding study books).
Timing of announcement May
Description This award was established to "provide good books to children who are responsible for the next generation." This award goes to the most excellent books in all types of children's books except study guides.

JBBY Award

Organizer Japanese Board on Books for Young People (JBBY)
Year of foundation 2007
Works suitable for the award Children's books published during past three years.
Timing of announcement October (every other year)
Description This award was established by Japanese Board on Books for Young People(JBBY)to commend people who play active roles in the children's book field internationally. JBBY implements various activities domestically and internationally as the liaison in Japan for International Board on Books for Young People(IBBY)as well as an international institution for cross-border cooperation in children's books. A literary work, an illustration, and a highly achieved translator are awarded every other year. JBBY prize-winning works are recommended for the year's IBBY honor list.

Jidou Bungei Shinjin Shou (Juvenile Literature Award for Newcomers)

Organizer Japan Juvenile Writers Association
Year of foundation 1972
Works suitable for the award Original fairy tales, novels, non-fiction, poems and children's songs of which the first editions are published from January 1 to December 31 of the previous year.
Timing of announcement April
Description This award was established on the occasion that the newsletter of Japan Juvenile Writers Association "Jidou bungei" became monthly.

Shogakukan Award for Children's Literature

Organizer Shogakukan, The foundation for the Advancement of Juvenile Education in Japan
Year of foundation 1996
Works suitable for the award Children's publications such as picture books, fairy tales and literature, pictorial books and encyclopedia released from April of the previous year to March of the current year.
Timing of announcement September
Description Works and writers contributing to the advancement of children's publication culture are chosen and awarded every year.
Shogakukan Award for Children's culture was established in 1952 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the foundation of Shogakukan. The award was divided into two awards, which are Shogakukan Award for Literature and Shogakukan Award for Painting, then united into Shogakukan Award for Children's Literature in 1996.

Gozan Prize

Organizer Gozan Shou Shinsa Iinkai (Children's Culture Center (Kodomo no Bunka Kenkyusho, Bunmin Kyouiku kyoukai))
(Gozan Prize Judging Committee)
Year of foundation 1961
Works suitable for the award Kamishibai (Japanese Paper Theater)
Timing of announcement July
Description This prize was established to commemorate the achievements of Takahashi Gozan, the father of educational Kamishibai. The most excellent and commercially available Kamishibai works receive this award.

Chouhen Jidou Bungaku Sinjin Shou
(Long children's literature award for newcomers)

Organizer Japanese Association of Writers for Children
Year of foundation 2002
Works suitable for the award Original unpublished long children's literature for about ten to fifteen-year-old children.
Timing of announcement May
Description This award goes to long novels which bring new perspective to the world of children's literature.

Joji Tsubota Award

Organizer Okayama city, Okayama Shi Bungaku Shou Unei Iinkai
(Okayama Prize for Literature Steering Committee)
Year of foundation 1984
Works suitable for the award Literary works published from September 1 of the previous year to August 31 of the current year.
Timing of announcement January
Description This award was established to commend the achievements of Joji Tsubota, a novel writer and children's literature author born in Okayama city as well as to encourage civic creative activities and to contribute to the advancement of the civic culture. This award goes to literature works which describe the world that both adults and children can feel empathy.

TonenGeneral Children's Culture Award

Organizer The TonenGeneral Group
Year of foundation 1966
Works suitable for the award Not stated
Timing of announcement August
Description This award was established to contribute to the improvement and prosperity of Japanese children's culture.
One feature of this award is the diverse array of winners and genres. The most outstanding individuals and groups who have contributed to Japanese children's culture are selected from all children-related genres.

Japan Picture Book Award

Organizer Japan School Library Association, The Mainichi Newspapers
Year of foundation 1995
Works suitable for the award Picture books published in Japan from October 1 of the previous year to September 30 of the current year
Timing of announcement March
Description This award was established to popularize the art of picture books, promote picture book reading and contribute to the development of picture-book publishing.

Japanese Association of Writers for Children Prize

Organizer Japanese Association of Writers for Children
Year of foundation 1961
Works suitable for the award Fiction, poetry, critical essays and studies published during the previous year.
Timing of announcement May
Description This award established in 1961 as a result of unification of Association of Writers for Children's Literary Award, which was established in 1951 to enhance creative activities and Association of Writers for Children Award for Newcomers, which was established to find newcomers.

Japanese Association of Writers for Children Prize for Newcomers

Organizer Japanese Association of Writers for Children
Year of foundation 1968
Works suitable for the award Fiction, poetry, critical essays and studies published during the previous year (Writers who published up to the third work are applicable as rookie writers.)
Timing of announcement May
Description This award goes to newcomers who published excellent children's literature works in book form.

Nihon Jidou Bungeika Kyoukai Shou
(Japan Juvenile Writers Association Prize)

Organizer Japan Juvenile Writers Association
Year of foundation 1976
Works suitable for the award Works written by members of Japan Juvenile Writers Association published during the previous year.
Timing of announcement April
Description This prize was established to commemorate the virtues of Hamada Hirosuke, the first chairman of Japan Juvenile Writers Association. This prize goes to the work by the members regarded as the most excellent work among all publications in a year.

Noma Prize for Juvenile Literature

Organizer Noma Bunka Zaidan (Noma Cultural Foundation)
Year of foundation 1963
Works suitable for the award Works published in newspapers, magazines and books during the previous year.
Timing of announcement November
Description This prize was established as a result of separation and independence of Children's Literature Award from Noma Bungei Shou. This independence was implemented as a public work by Noma Bunka Zaidan, which was established to carry out the wishes of Noma Seiji, the first president of Kodansha. This prize goes to excellent children's literature and nonfictions.

Hirosuke Douwa Shou (Hirosuke Fairy Tale Award)

Organizer Hirosuke Douwa Shou Iinkai (Takahata-cho, Yamagata Prefecture, Takahata-cho Education Committee, Hamada Hirosuke Memorial Hall and Japan Juvenile Writers Association)
(Hirosuke Fairy Tale Award Committee)
Year of foundation 1990
Works suitable for the award Fairy tales for children from infants to around age ten published in books, newspapers and magazines from July 1 of the previous year to June 30 of the current year (excluding picture books).
Timing of announcement September
Description This award was established to commend the achievements of Hamada Hirosuke, the first chairman of Japan Juvenile Writers Association.Hamada is often referred to as the Japanese Christian Andersen.
This award goes to authors who write excellent fairy tales which contribute to the creation and development of a new world of fairy tales for children.

Fukushima Masami Kinen SF Douwa Shou
(Fukushima Masami Juvenile Science Fiction Prize)

Organizer Iwasaki Shoten, Sousaku Shuudan "Purominensu"(formerly Shounen Bungei Sakka Kurabu)(Creators' group "Prominence" (formerly Juvenile Literary Authors' Club))
Year of foundation 1983
Works suitable for the award Science fictions, Fantasies (fictions) like science fiction, and fantasy stories such as adventure stories, mystery stories, horror stories, and nonsense fictions. Award -winning works should be readable and enjoyable for the 3rd/4th grade and more senior grade elementary school children. Each work should be published in book form.
Timing of announcement April
Description This award was established to commemorate Fukushima Masami's pioneering achievements in the juvenile science fiction field and find excellent writers/works that bring new perspective to the children's literature.

Fukuda Kiyoto Shou (Fukuda Kiyoto Prize)

Organizer Japan Juvenile Writers Association
Year of foundation 2005
Works suitable for the award Non-fiction books, historic and autobiographical literature works and educational books published during the previous year.
Timing of announcement April
Description This prize was established to commend Fukuda Kiyoto, the second director and chairman of Japan Juvenile Writers Association, who accomplished various achievements in the children's literature and culture.

Mitsukoshi Sachio Shounen Shi Shou
(Mitsukoshi Sachio Juvenile Poetry Prize)

Organizer Japanese Association of Writers for Children
Year of foundation 1997
Works suitable for the award Poetry for boys and girls including children's song books published from January 1 to December 31 of the previous year written by mid-career and rookie poets.
Timing of announcement May
Description This prize was established to promote poems (poetry) for boys and girls in accordance with the offer from the bereaved family of Mitsukoshi Sachio, who continued creative activities, especially poems (poetry) for boys and girls and children's songs for many years.