Koushun Takami (高見 広春, Takami Kōshun?, born January 10, 1969) is a Japanese author and journalist. Best known for his 1999 novel Battle Royale, which was later adapted into two live-action films, directed by Kinji Fukasaku, and three manga series.
Takami was born Koji Takami (高見宏治, Takami Kōji?) on January 10, 1969 in Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture near Osaka and grew up in the Kagawa Prefecture of Shikoku. After graduating from Osaka University with a degree in literature, he dropped out of Nihon University's liberal arts correspondence course program. From 1991 to 1996, he worked for the news company Shikoku Shimbun, reporting on various fields including politics, police reports, and economics.
Battle Royale was completed after Takami left the news company. It was rejected in the final round of the 1997 literary competition Japan Grand Prix Horror Novel, due to its controversial content depicting Junior High School children forced to kill one another. When finally published in April 1999, it went on to become a bestseller, and only a year later was made into both a manga and a feature film.
The novel was translated into English by Yuji Oniki and published by Viz Media in 2003. An expanded English edition was later published by Haika Soru, a division of Viz Media, in 2009. The first manga also began being released in English in 2003, by Tokyo Pop, with the last volume published in 2006. Although an English version of the first film was released in the UK in 2002, a US version wasn't released until 2012, once again due to the controversial content. As well as being critically acclaimed, the Battle Royale series has become infamous not only in Japan, but around the world and has earned cult status.
Since Battle Royale, Takami has not released any work.