Naoki Hyakuta’s novel Kaizoku to Yobareta Otoko (the man who was called a pirate) won the Honya Taisho (bookstore grand prize) in 2013.
Hyakuta stressed that he wanted to write about "an amazing Japanese person who fixed a country that was turned into a field of fire by war,” the Asahi Shimbon says.
"When I wrote it, I felt I had a mission to tell people about this,” he said. "I want to encourage our downcast country of Japan.”
Although Hyakuta said he does not particularly feel Kaizoku to Yobareta Otoko is about nationalism, it urges readers "not to lose the pride of the Japanese.”
That message is similar to the sentiments of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who described the book as "interesting.”
So far, it has sold more than 1.3 million copies.
In interview with Mehr News Agency the Hyakuta provided comments on the setting of his book as related to Iran and its oil.
He said that The Man who was Called a Pirate points to the end of the second World War when the people of Japan "had more self-confidence than now, because at that time a man came up and without a heed to warnings from the US and UK docked on Iranian shores.”
The event came after Iran’s oil was nationalized by the then Prime Minister Dr. Mosadegh. The Japanese ship bought 22 thousand tons of oil, gas and gasoline from Iran in contempt of international sanctions.
He stated that both Iran and Japan have the same wound from world powers, adding that with his book, he tried to remind the Japanese reader of those days when the nation enjoyed more confidence than it does now.