Eiji Yoshikawa (吉川 英治, Yoshikawa Eiji, August 11, 1892 – September 7, 1962) was a Japanese historical novelist. Among his best-known novels are revisions of older classics. He was mainly influenced by classics such as The Tale of the Heike, Tale of Genji, Water Margin and Romance of the Three Kingdoms, many of which he retold in his own style. As an example, Yoshikawa took up Taiko's original manuscript in 15 volumes to retell it in a more accessible tone and reduce it to only two volumes. His other books also serve similar purposes and, although most of his novels are not original works, he created a huge amount of work and a renewed interest in the past. He was awarded the Cultural Order of Merit in 1960 (the highest award for a man of letters in Japan), the Order of the Sacred Treasure and the Mainichi Art Award just before his death from cancer in 1962. He is cited as one of the best historical novelists in Japan.