Mieko Kanai (b. 1947) is a prominent Japanese writer and essayist, and an admired reviewer of books and film, known for her scathing and perceptive wit. She read widely in fiction and poetry from an early age. In 1968 she received the Gendaishi Techo Prize for poetry. In 1979 she received the Izumi Kyoka Prize, and in 1988 the current work, Oh, Tama! (Tama ya), received the Women's Literature Award. She has a devoted following in Japan and has built up her own world of fiction with a sensual style.