I went to Nihon University’s Art Division, majoring in literature. It was at this time that I chose my penname, Banana, because I love banana flowers. I think it is rather cute and androgynous. My graduation story, Moonlight Shadow won the Izumi Kyoka Prize from the faculty. After graduation was when I started to seriously think about writing. I would often write during my breaks when waitressing. It was then when I wrote Kitchen, arguably one of my most famous works. My writing is very influenced by Truman Capote and Stephen King - especially his non-horror works.
I like to keep my personal life very private. I married by husband in 2003, who is a certified Rolfer, and our son was born in 2003. In essays I write about my son, but not as much in stories. After having my son, I tend to think I want to live longer. Before, I was just in a hurry to live.
I have been fortunate enough to attain many literary achievements. For example, I have won the Best Newcomer Artists Recommended Prize, the Kaien Newcomer Writer's Prize, the Umitsubame First Novel Prize, and the Izumi Kyoka Literary Prize. In addition, Kitchen has been translated into more than seven different languages. Kitchen and Goodbye Tsugumi have both been made into movies. In total, I have sold over 60 million copies worldwide.
A lot of my critics like to point out the fun, escapist side of my writing. Some even say that it is superficial and specially catered for popular consumption. Sometimes, I feel guilty since I write my stories for fun, not for therapy. But I am not deterred from my ultimate dream of receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature.