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Japanese Literature

  • 05-04-2007 5:51pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭ jackbhoy


    Hi Folks,

    Just wondering if anyone can recommend some good Japanese authors/books??

    Have a few such as The Silent Cry by Kenzaburo Oe, Kokoro by Natsume Soseki and a couple by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki but I'm open to suggestions!

    Travelling there for a while and like to bring along a few books for the journey.....


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭✭ Fr Clint Power


    The one that immediately springs to mind is Haruki Murakami. I would definitely recommend The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Norwegian Wood and South of the Border, West of the Sun.


  • Registered Users Posts: 444 ✭✭ Esmereldina


    The one that immediately springs to mind is Haruki Murakami. I would definitely recommend The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Norwegian Wood and South of the Border, West of the Sun.

    I second anything by Haruki Murakami :D

    I also read An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro a few years ago, which was about an artist in post war Japan. It was a little slow moving, though I did like it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,135 John


    I'm currently re-reading Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day which is ****ing amazing. A really intelligent and beautiful book.

    Also recommended is Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse. It's a factually based dramatisation of the bombing of Hiroshima and the days and weeks that followed it. Harrowing but highly recommended.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,142 Karlusss


    What is it about Murakami? People tell me I need to read him all the time, but I read the first chapter of Kafka on the shore (to dip) and it all seemed a bit stilted (Japanese isn't a good language to translate from perhaps?)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭ jackbhoy


    John wrote:
    I'm currently re-reading Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day which is ****ing amazing. A really intelligent and beautiful book.


    Have read most of Ishiguros books alright, but Remains of the Day is definitely his best.


    Thanks for the suggestions so far guys!!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 266 ✭✭ Anton17


    Norwegian Wood is Murakami's most complete book. Well, maybe complete isn't the best description, but it seemed tighter and more balanced. God that's so vague. Anyway it's one of my all time favourite novels! Apparently it caused such a stir in Japan that adolescents used to dress in green or red according to which part of the book they most identify with. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,453 showry


    Just found this thread, here's my 2 cents anyway in the hope of getting some more recommendations.
    Haruki Murakami's wonderful, I love the mix of the surreal and the banal. I'd also recommend Ryu Murakami: Piercing & In The Miso Soup are edgy thrillers, sixty-nine's a great read.
    A couple of other good thrillers I read lately were Crossfire by Miyuki Miyabe and Out by Natsuo Kirino.
    Banana Yoshimoto's more offbeat, easy to read and paints great images of Japanese life (as I'd imagine it anyway).


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 324 ✭✭ Joe Cool


    Murakami, again, for me too.

    'Kafka on the Shore' was the first story I read of his, really liked it but have to admit I like 'A Wild Sheep Chase' and 'Dance, Dance, Dance' more.

    "Norwegian Wood' is also a very good read. Still haven't got around to starting 'Pinball' as yet.

    To be fair, though, I dunno if Murakami is typical of Japanese Literature as his stuff has a very 'Western' style and feel to it.

    :cool:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 346 ✭✭ hatful


    "Norwegian Wood" is good.
    Studio ghibli dvds'.
    "Japan Through the Looking Glass: Shaman to Shinto"
    "Gold Rush" Miri Yu


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,135 John


    I've only read Norwegian Wood, very good book. I keep meaning to pick up more Murakami but time's a devil.

    Since this thread started I discovered another great Japanese author, Yukio Mishima. His Sea of Fertility series is perhaps the best realised work of literature I've read since Ulysses (although it is not really comparable). His life story is fairly interesting is well (check him out on Wikipedia).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4 PaulaChelaru


    Hi guys,
    Wondering if there are persons who know where to get some books about 夏目 漱石 (Natsume Soseki) here in dublin. I am particularly interested in literary critics. I am doing my graduation paper about his novel 行人 
    Any suggetions, links or ideas would be highly appreciated.
    Thank you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,004 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    Not Sure if its your type of book,but you could try Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa.
    Considered to be a Japanese epic ,their "Gone with the Wind".It tells the story of Miyamoto Musashi.I read it a long time ago ,but hope to read it again in the future.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 PaulaChelaru


    Not Sure if its your type of book,but you could try Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa.
    Considered to be a Japanese epic ,their "Gone with the Wind".It tells the story of Miyamoto Musashi.I read it a long time ago ,but hope to read it again in the future.

    Thank you for the suggestion. Have you read anything by Natsume Soseki? What do you think of him?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,004 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    Thank you for the suggestion. Have you read anything by Natsume Soseki? What do you think of him?

    No sorry Paula ,I was replying to Op's post.
    It's a case of too many books to read ,and a limited life span.;)
    Even if I lived another hundred+ years I would still have a wish list a mile long.:eek:
    I have 74 books on my shelf waiting to be read ,including a copy of Taiko that is sitting there the last 5 years .:o
    Plus 4 more pre-order and 5 in the post......................


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,437 Crucifix


    I read a few books by Yukio Mishima and found them enjoyable. An odd man, with an odd life. In 1970, after finishing his Sea of Fertility tetralogy, he went to a military base on some pretext, subdued the commander and addressed the troops urging them to rise up and overthrow the government, then committed ritual suicide.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,311 ✭✭✭ tampopo


    Crucifix wrote: »
    I read a few books by Yukio Mishima and found them enjoyable. An odd man, with an odd life. In 1970, after finishing his Sea of Fertility tetralogy, he went to a military base on some pretext, subdued the commander and addressed the troops urging them to rise up and overthrow the government, then committed ritual suicide.

    Yeah, many years ago, late in the evening, probably after MOTD I flicked over to the very climax of his autobiographical film. Didn't know WTF was going on!!!

    Photo attached of some Japanese (and other) books wot I've read (and to read)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,522 ✭✭✭ sxt


    The Woman in the Dunes by Kobe Abe is quite a gripping and surreal read .


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 6 ✭✭✭ phoebees


    My favourite Japanese writer is Kotaro Isaka. He is good at creating memorable, multidimensional characters and constructing plots, where readers can sort out all the mysteries and conspiracy with the hidden details and perspectives. Going to recommend Remote Control, his first book translated into English.


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