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Designated: 2023
Population: 717,000

Language: Japanese

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Contact Okayama



Located in the western region of Japan, Okayama City has an area of 789 km2. The City faces Seto Inland Sea, known for its gentle sea, beautiful islands and contemporary art.

The City is a centre for academics, attracting approx. 30,000 students to its 10 universities and 3 junior colleges. The public sector manages 10 public halls, 10 museums, 11 libraries, while the private sector manages 1 literature centre.



In the 18th century, a private library was established by a local merchant, and in the 20th century, a municipal library was built with donations. Even when everyone couldn’t access books to learn, we had a history of promoting local education through collaboration between the private and public sectors without boundaries.


Notre Dame Seishin University, whose founding parent organisation, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur of France, has a status as one of the first English literature institution established in 1949. The university has been collecting and researching materials on Joji Tsubota. “The Joji Tsubota World Explorers,” a group of the University professors and students, conduct research and fieldwork on Joji Tsubota from various perspectives and present their findings to local residents and children.


The Citizens’ Fairy Tale Award

We have hosted "The Citizens’ Fairy Tale Award" since 1985. This award is to foster the citizens’ creativity. Applicants are professionals, amateurs and citizens. 


The Okayama Citizens’ Literature and Art Festival is hosted by the City to promote the writing of essays, poetry, Japanese traditional haiku poems. Citizens submit their writings, and the best works are awarded and published. Over the past four years, more than 11,000 entries have been submitted.


The Okayama Literature Festival is held for 3 weeks organised by Okayama City and Okayama Creative City of Literature Promotion. 

Okayama Literary Elementary School is an event to feature publishers and bookstores in and outside the city to merchandise their works. The event is for both professionals and citizens.


Okayama ZINE Stadium is an event to exhibit and sell independently produced books. Citizens participate in a book sale at a closed elementary school.

Okayama Omotecho Book Street is an event for used bookstores and interested citizens to sell a variety of used books. Major used book vendors also participated in the event to attract a wide range of customers.




Started in 2023, Domestic Writers-in-Residence Programme provides opportunities for authors to stay in Okayama for several months to learn about literature associated with regional community. The program empowers local creative talents by having resident authors engage in workshops for the public.


Okayama City intends to organise International Residencies for writers from other Creative Cities of Literature.

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