Cover Image - Kikuko Tsumura

Kikuko Tsumura is a Japanese writer based in Osaka, Japan. The award-winning author began writing stories about young workers having experienced workplace harassment herself. After 10 months, in what was her first job out of college, she quit and retrained to find another position. Kikuko’s writing since has received national and international renown, winning Japanese literary awards including the Akutagawa Prize and the Noma Literary New Face Prize.  Her first short story translated into English, “The Water Tower and the Turtle,” won a PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. “There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job” is her first novel to be translated into English. We asked Kikuko to write a piece for “Literally” – WePresent’s slowly expanding library of written commissions by some of the best writers in the world – and she wrote about a very strange job she once had.