Natsuhiko Kyogoku is an expert in Japanese folklore, especially monsters, ghosts, and supernatural phenomena. Having never been published before, he brought the manuscript of The Summer of Ubume to the publisher himself, and it debuted in 1994 with great success. The unusual nature of how the title got published and its success inspired the creation of the Mephisto Award, which honors new mystery and fantasy writers.
The second book of this series won the Japan Mystery Writers Association Award in 1996. Kyogoku won the prestigious Naoki Prize in 2004.