Nom de Plume

I have finally settled on the pen name Akira Fuyuno. It is a name I had thought of more than a decade ago, but hesitated using for the English speaking audience because I was not sure how it would sound to their ears.

I came to this name by observing the names of the best selling Japanese authors, and realized that many of them had either a color or a season associated with their surnames. Natsuki Shizuko, the queen of Japanese mystery, and Natsume Soseki, father of the modern Japanese novel, both have “natsu” (summer) in their names. Akagawa Jiro, the best selling Japanese mystery writer of all time, and Kuroiwa Jugo, the king of yamato historicals, both have colors associated with their names; “aka” being “red, and “kuro” being “black”. Other writers put in their colors and seasons more indirectly, such as by using the words “blossom”, “ice”, and “sea”. Names that do not follow this rule tend to be the author’s real names. Yoshimoto Banana uses her born surname, although Banana is obviously a nom de plume.

I chose “winter”, fuyu, and combined it with “field” to make a name “winter field” which resulted in Fuyuno. Akira is a fairly common name and can be expressed in a wide ideograms (明, 昭, 章, 彰, 亮, 晶, 彬, etc.). I chose the one that means “sparkle” (玲) so as to project an image of ice and snow sparkling on the winter field on a sunny day.

Most Japanese people would not be conscious of this visual image when they see the name, but will vaguely understand the poetic effect. I have never actually published under this name. I have, I believe, submitted a few manuscripts.

As I have repeatedly said, I have not been a successful writer to this day. Choosing a name is a big decision. I hope this one brings me luck.

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