A Look into Yanagi Kouji’s Workspace

Two months ago I posted an interview with Yanagi Kouji on the Joker Game novel series. It goes deeper into the series’ latest installment “Last Waltz”. This post features a short interview on one of his stand-alone novels “Knight & Shadow”. However, it’s actually more about his lifestyle and cats… err, workspace.

Yanagi Kouji’s international strategy novel “Knight & Shadow” depicts the theme ‘first class man’

Yanagi Kouji and one of his cats
Yanagi Kouji and one of his cats

The paperback edition of Yanagi Kouji’s “Knight & Shadow” went on sale the other day. We conducted this interview around the time of the hardcover edition release (July 2014).

“My hobby is moving residences,” Yanagi Kouji-san said. His current house is the sixth one since his debut thirteen years ago. “I only work at home, so when I reach a dead end, I move houses and refresh my mood.”

He loves reading so much that he says: “I cannot live without reading books. If there are books at my workplace, I read them against my better judgment and end up not doing my work.” Because of this he puts all of his books in an archive, with the exception of books for reference. His book collection is a careful selection of approximately 3,000 books of which Yanagi says he “repeatedly reads in particular”. That point “books which may be read any number of times” is certainly also an aim for him as a writer.

“Knight & Shadow is set in 2001 in Washington D.C.. Shutou Takenori is a leading elite Security Police officer of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. He is ordered to undergo training at the home of the secret service of important bodyguards, and gets dragged into an intrigue which appears involve a plan to assassinate the President. The story thoroughly broadens into a former reality on a big scale and brings the reader into the world of the novel within a blink of an eye. On the topic of a ‘first class man’ the writer said: “I write to the end, putting everything I have into it”. It’s a mystery of excellent readability.

His Workplace

Yanagi Kouji's workplace
Yanagi Kouji’s workplace

He wakes up at eight in the morning. After accompanying his cats, he eats breakfast and works from ten o’clock in the morning till around two o’clock in the afternoon. After lunch he takes a break; his daily routine is to go to the bookstore or library. When selecting a house, one of his essential requirements is that “the house is within walking distance from the library”. While taking walks in a nearby park, he repeatedly checks the sentences he wrote that day inside his head. “If I don’t drink, I will keep being excited about work, and won’t eat my dinner.” Then he added that drinking at home at night is indispensable. “The cats don’t approach me either. I wonder if they know that I’m at work in high spirits.”

Yanagi Kouji's cats
Yanagi Kouji’s cats

For some reason the cats won’t come in the workroom when he’s at work. An illustration of how they are waiting for his work to end.


Hon no hikidashi



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