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Takeshita Ryūnosuke

Entry updated 5 April 2021. Tagged: Author.

(1984-    ) Japanese lawyer and former child prodigy who enjoyed a brief and meteoric career as an author beginning with Tensai Eri-chan Kingyō o Tabeta ["Genius Eri Ate a Goldfish"] (1991). This, in turn, became the subject of some controversy when the seven-year-old Takeshita's book, daubed with understandably childish artwork, won the Masami Fukushima Writers Prize, leading to protests among some committee members that it took Japanese publishing's obsession with young authors (see, for example, Motoko Arai) to ridiculous extremes. For elementary school-age readers at the time, the author's degree of self-figuration was reportedly a major point of interest – not only that he had won an award, but that he was purportedly writing of the adventures of his own sister, and that the book therefore occupied a tantalizingly liminal space between fiction and nonfiction.

Takeshita, or perhaps his cunning parents, milked his fame for three more entries in the Tensai Eri-chan series, although Tensai Eri-chan Tsuki ni Yuku ["Genius Eri Goes to the Moon"] (1991) made the fictional nature abundantly obvious. Takeshita then retired with a tongue-in-cheek list of requirements for the future Mrs Takeshita, whom he earnestly hoped to meet and marry in the year 2013, published as Boku no Oyome-san Best Ten: Boku wa Shōgakusei Dōwa Sakka ["My Best Ten for a Bride, by an Elementary-School Children's Author"] (1995). A 1997 republication of his first book was a Tie to the film adaptation of the same name.

His later co-authored work Case Study: Zaisan Bunyo no Jitsumu: Taishō Zaisan Betsu Chōsa Hoka to no Hōmu to Zeimu no Checkpoint ["Case Studies in Practical Property Division: Legal and Tax-Related Checkpoints"] (2021) displays little sign of his youthful whimsy, containing no mention of Time Travel or ichthyophagy. [JonC]

Ryūnosuke Takeshita

born Miyakonojō, Japan: 4 June 1984




Tensai Eri-chan

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