Mimizuku to Yoru no Ou: Author's Word

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Author's Word - What Lies Beyond Prayers[edit]

I don't really have too many memories of submitting novels.

The first time I put my pencil on the paper, my thoughts were with my hand, leaving nothing behind. However, I do know that it was a story about Santa Claus. It was a short story, only about thirty sheets of paper long.

It was probably about halfway through middle school. The results didn't put anything in my chopsticks. However, I found it to be a lot of fun. I didn't know how to properly submit it, so I put it in an envelope and took it to my friend's house.

I remember being surprised when I was told not to put it in a nylon bag.

My friend took me out to the postbox. We took a brown envelope and made our way to the one behind her house. The sun was coming down, and there weren't too many people in the area.

We looked over the package several times, and finally pushed it down the hole. Alright, I thought, Let's go home. Suddenly, my friend pulled the package back up.

"You have to pray!" I was told. I was really shocked. Standing side by side in front of the postbox, we clasped our hands together and quietly prayed.

I wasn't religious, so I didn't know who to pray to. Maybe I was supposed to pray to the editor who might read it, or God, or something else. I simply, silently, prayed.

I haven't prayed when submitting anything since (not counting the time I cried when the person at the post office's late night collection window told me I had the wrong date on the postmark...), but whenever I submit a novel, I always remember my friend telling me "You have to pray!" And I remember my friend clasping her hands together for the sake of my story.

About all I can do other than write immature stories, other than just write every day, is to pray.

Now, I don't remember how many years it's been, but it seems like the prayers we made that night reached. They reached faster than the light of the stars had taken to reach our hands that night, so I think that's good.


I have said that I want to write simple stories so many times it seems like I'm drunken and feverish. I want to write simple stories. I don't have any interest left in history. It doesn't matter if it's disposable. A checkpoint is fine too. I don't care if it's a story you'll forget when you grow up. That's it, that's all. That's absolutely it. Something that moves the heart. Something like light. Something that will open the world to a child, or someone who thinks books are boring and difficult, like me. Something like that. Ah, yes. I want to write novels.

I've lived my whole life sighing like that. I need idealism and whitewashing. I don't have the youth to talk back when a smart-faced senior tells me "You can't live your life washed away by ideals," but baring my teeth, I had a dream. Even now, I'm still dreaming.


When I came up with the idea for Mimizuku and the King of Night, I was in my third year of high school, and right in the middle of studying for college entrance exams. My heart had suddenly cried out as a story began to overflow from within me. In two days, I had filled half of a college notebook with a setting of a world whose gleam had disappeared, and put it away on my bookshelf. When I entered college, I wrote the story. For my first long novel, I decided to use the concept I came up with in that notebook. College entrance exams were rough, but I would sigh to myself, "It's not that important."

To me, it would be special if someone found this story special. There would be no greater blessing for me than this.


Lots of people have helped me in getting this story out to the world. My friend, who read it before anyone else and loved Mimizuku for me, and then after everything was over told me "congrats," and patted me on the head. There are lots of other friends who have made important appearances for me. If I didn't have them, I probably wouldn't have been able to finish this story.

Since I got the grand prize, I met the supervisor, and lots of other people who have helped me. These people have put in a lot of effort to bring about this book. Since I'm a country girl, when I went to the capital city, I couldn't sleep. Thank you to the judges for starting everything, Isono Hiroo-sensei for wrapping up Mimizuku's world into nice binding, and Arikawa Hiro-sensei for reading and accepting Mimizuku. And of course, a huge thank you to all of you, the readers, near and far, that I do not see.


When the prize results first came out, I was told "May your words cast a magic spell on the hearts of young readers" as congratulations by many authors that I respect.

Though I can only cast inexperienced magic.

Looks like all I can do today as well is pray.


Kougyoku Izuki


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