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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."