Top 5: Books I Want To Read from Japanese Authors

I'm quite interested in Asia as a continent and it's culture, and I think it's time to explore more of their literature. Starting with the Japanese, here are five books I want to read.

Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima

This is the first book in The Sea of Fertility quartet, and this has been on my radar for quite some time. It's set in Japan in 1912 and is, as far as I know, a family saga. 

The Makioka Sisters by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki

This is set in the years leading up to World War II, and is the story of four sisters trying to preserve a dying way of living. This is called the greatest Japanese novel of the 20th Century, which is quite the praise.

The Man with the Compound Eyes by Wu Ming-Yi

I don't really know much about this, but I've bought it because I know it is magical realism, which I'm very much interested in. Also, this cover is glorious. I think this might be the book I first read on this list.
(Edit: Turns out Wu Ming-Yi is actually Taiwanese! Oh well...)

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

This book has been on my to read list forever. This is about a professor who's short-term memory only lasts about eighty minutes, and his relationship with his housekeeper.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

I have yet to read a Murakami book, which is a shame. I own this, so I want to read this one first. No idea what it's about, only that I feel I should read it.

Do let me know if you've read any of these, or if you have some Asian literature to recommend.



  1. I want to read some Japanese literature too but I never seem to get around to it. I've heard of The Hosuekeeper and the Professor, I think it's pretty short so maybe that's a good point to start.
    The cover for The Man with the Compound Eyes is gorgeous indeed, and yes, Magical Realism always counts as a huge plus. Please read this soon :D

    PS. Love your new layout but I hope the stag comes back in winter. I loved that one too :)

    1. The Man with the Compound Eyes will probably be my next read :D

      And the stag will probably return in autumn! :D

  2. I'd recommend Banana Yoshimoto. She's a contemporary japanese author and I read her translated novel "The Lake". It is a really beautiful and unique story about complicated yet in their own way intense relationships and evolving as a person. Really got me into japanese literature. :)

    By the way, interesting choice of books. Haven't read any of them, still Norwegian Wood has been on my list for quite some time now. I just keep forgetting what it's about.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, I will definitely check her out!

      I've read the synopsis for Norwegian Wood like ten times, and yet it slips my mind every time :P


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