Akutagawa literary prize shortlist made up entirely of women for first time

The five-person shortlist for a prestigious Japanese literary award is comprised entirely of women for the first time in its nearly 90-year history.

The female authors are the finalists for the Akutagawa Prize, which is awarded to up-and-coming novelists.

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Literature says this is the first time a shortlist has been entirely made up of women since the prize was founded in 1935.

On Friday, the society also announced the finalists of another major award, the Naoki Prize, for entertainment novels. Four of the five authors are women.

The two prizes are given twice a year. The winners will be announced on July 20.