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Japanese Literature

Customer
The list author says: "The first book I read by a Japanese author was "The Key" by Tanizaki, Junichiro. I still remember the shock, the pleasure, the excitement of reading this book. I have been an avid reader of Japanese literature ever since, although I tend to avoid modern writers. My dream is that one day I will be able to read some of my favorite Japanese books in their original language. Still a long way to go, but hey, kanji are fun."
The Key & Diary of a Mad Old Man
The Key & Diary of a Mad Old Man
"Two stories in the great a-la-Tanizaki style about an unusual marriage relationship and an old man whom I never figured out if he is mad or not. You will like his attitude towards his daughter-in law."
Modern Japanese Stories An Anthology
Modern Japanese Stories An Anthology
"A great selection of short stories. It includes masters as Kawabata, Tanizaki, Akutagawa; several female writers too. "The Priest and His Love" is Mishima's story that comes at the very end for a reason."
Masks
Masks
"Enchi is  one of the most famous Japanese female authors with a very distinct style. The book is a great mixture of the story of the Tale of Genji and a personal drama."
The Waiting Years
The Waiting Years
"A husband sends his wife to find him a young and innocent girl for a maid. They both know the girl will be a concubine. The search for young girls does not happen once. The ending of this book is one of the most powerful expressions of hatred suppressed for years."
Thousand Cranes
Thousand Cranes
"For me, the most exquisite of Kawabata's works. The tea ceremony, the subtleties of the Japanese character, it is all in there."
House of the Sleeping Beauties: And Other Stories
House of the Sleeping Beauties: And Other Stories
"Exotic, surprising, nothing that you ever heard of or imagined."
Musashi
Musashi
"A samurai story. Musashi is the person who invented the style of sword fighting with both hands since he was a lonely wolf."
The Old Capital
The Old Capital
"This is a beautiful book. The old capital is Kyoto, of course. I would recommend reading the book while or after you have visited Kyoto."
A Quiet Life
A Quiet Life
"A story of a mentally handicapped boy with an amazing musical talent. You will like both the book and the movie. Just think about the father's source of depression--it is quite original indeed."
Norwegian Wood
Norwegian Wood
Coin Locker Babies
Coin Locker Babies
"Read the first line. It is enough to catch your attention. Deeply disturbing and at times improbable but you can expect everything in Japan--even a crocodile-pet:)"
Almost Transparent Blue
Almost Transparent Blue
Black Rain: A Novel (Japan's Modern Writers)
Black Rain: A Novel (Japan's Modern Writers)
"This is a book about Hiroshima. It is almost documentary being  based on interviews with survivors. Not an easy reading. The black rain was radioactive;people did not know and welcomed it in the heat."
Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century (UNESCO Collection of Representative Works: European)
Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century (UNESCO Collection of Representative Works: European)
Modern Japanese Literature: From 1868 to the Present Day
Modern Japanese Literature: From 1868 to the Present Day
"Published in 1956, this anthology is far from a complete guide to Japanese literature but whatever is chosen is simply wonderful."
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Everyman's Library (Cloth))
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Everyman's Library (Cloth))
"Mizoguchi's psychosis is a spiral that uncoils slowly but inevitably. Since witnessing his Mother's infidelity in the presence of his sick Father, Mizoguchi has developed a cold alienation towards her. His obsession with Kinkakuji determines the path of his whole life. There are several strikingly cruel and erotic moments in this book.A masterpiece,describing a sick but deeply intriguing mind."
The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor's Wife
"The sacrifices a woman did so that her husband was able to perform a successful breast surgery. Japanese to the core."
The Lake
The Lake
The Wild Geese
The Wild Geese
Confessions of Love
Confessions of Love
The Book of Tea: The Illustrated Classic Edition
The Book of Tea: The Illustrated Classic Edition
"It is through the Asian appreciation of tea that Okakura presents major Asian philosophical concepts. Indeed an ingenious and highly entertaining way to distinguish between West and East. The book is a jewel of wisdom and maybe the only one I am aware of written by a Japanese writer in English."
Snow Country
Snow Country
Confessions of a Mask
Confessions of a Mask
"Maybe the book to start with if you are interested in Mishima's work. This book is semi-autobiographical. It describes the mental tortures of a growing boy who realizes his homosexuality, yet desperately tries to suppress it."
The Sound of Waves
The Sound of Waves
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea
Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings
Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings
"Excellent selection of Zen koans with a lot of wisdom inside. Enjoy."
The Gateless Gate: The Classic Book of Zen Koans
The Gateless Gate: The Classic Book of Zen Koans
"Koans are not only thought-provoking and entertaining, but come to mind in all sorts of social situations and make you think about the way you act. Reading this book is an interesting way to introduce Zen into your life."
A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters
A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters
"Initially I favored Heisig to Henshall, but I have come to realize that kanji are fun and easy once one knows their etymology. In that sense, Henshall is a must."
In Praise of Shadows
In Praise of Shadows
"One nostalgic and highly humorous essay by Tanizaki on modern and traditional Japan."
Death in Midsummer: And Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook)
Death in Midsummer: And Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook)