Popular Japanese Fiction Books
My Favourite Japanese Books
Recommended Reading for Japan: Books to Read Before Your Trip
Often dark but full of humor, Japanese literature showcases the idiosyncrasies of such a culturally driven nation. Murakami takes the reader on an unnerving journey through the minds and bodies of a set of friends whose main concerns are where they are going to get their next drug fix from. Accused by some critics of being crass and overindulgent, Murakami certainly does not shy away from graphic descriptions of mescaline-induced hallucinations and sudden moments of brutality, which serve to make the lives of his protagonists seem even more hollow and mundane. Almost Transparent Blue unfolds in a haze of debauchery to the soundtrack of The Doors and the urban soundscape of s Japan. Mishima was an actor, writer, model, playwright, poet, and was rumored to be a strong contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature. The focus is on female protagonists observing from strange places of isolation. Aya recounts her acts of love and cruelty in a detached, disinterested manner, as if viewing her life through a tunnel or a telescope.
If we missed a great book you think we should include, please let us know — happy reading! The books below — which span topics ranging from gardens to Zen, and fashion to anime — provide an immersive introduction to a breadth of fascinating topics related to Japanese culture. These varied and colorful firsthand accounts are an invaluable way to vicariously experience Japan through the keen eyes of an eclectic collection of observers. Japan is blessed with an incredible wealth of classic and modern literature. The sampling below will help get you started, and we recommend diving more deeply into the works of several of the authors below. So whether you relish the feel and smell of paper in your hands, or prefer the convenience and portability of a Kindle or your mobile device, we hope our recommended Japan reading list helps you prepare for your adventures! Japan is….
1. The Tale of Genji by Shikibu Murasaki
J apan has a birthday this year. Western warships had recently been menacing Japanese shores, not so much offering friendship as insisting on it at the point of a gun. How do you persuade a population used to thinking in regional rather than national terms, and who have next to no idea who you are, to cooperate in all this? To pay taxes, to join your army, to send their children to new national schools? One way is to tell stories. About Japan as a place especially blessed, perhaps even by the gods. About a country destined one day to become a beacon of modernity in Asia — if only people would put the effort in now.
Discover new books on Goodreads. Sign in with Facebook Sign in options. Join Goodreads. Norwegian Wood Paperback by Haruki Murakami. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.
Psychology and zoology graduate Fiona Campbell began writing after moving to Tokyo. For me they were about the chance encounters between strangers that can touch lives, and the miraculous events scattered throughout daily existence. Next I discovered Haruki Murakami, where characters disappeared, questions went unanswered, the bizarre was commonplace. I was very much influenced by these two authors and tried to capture something of what they do in Death of a Salaryman. With so many to choose from I've almost certainly missed many out. Below are my top 10 books set in Japan. Genji is the son of a Japanese emperor.