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Shizuka Ijuin aspired to be a professional baseball player before a shoulder injury thwarted his boyhood dream. After successful stints as an advertising executive, a commercial director, and a pop song writer, Ijuin became an acclaimed author. He met Hideki Matsui after receiving the Naoki Prize for Ukezuki (The Waxing Moon), a collection of short stories about baseball. Other honors include the Yoshikawa Eiji Literary Award for new writers for Nyubo (The Breast); the Naoki Prize for Ukezuki (The Month of Accepting); the Shibata Renzaburo Award for Kikansha Sensei (Locomotive Teacher); and the Yoshikawa Eiji Literary Award for Goro goro. He lives in Tokyo with his wife.
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