Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Reading Japan: Book List

Reading Japan
As part of my personal Reading Japan Project, I'm keeping track of the books I read that have a connection with Japan, either being written by a Japanese author, or with characters, set in, or relating to Japan in some way.

The following is a list of the Japanese literature and Japan-related books I have reviewed on In Spring it is the Dawn.

Clicking on a title will take you to my review.
Link to this list is available via the Reading Japan tab in the linkbar above.
NF = Non-Fiction, all other titles are fiction.

(If you're looking for more JLit reading inspirations, books that I have acquired but have not read, or have not yet reviewed, can be found in my Reading Japan: TBR List).

(Alphabetical by Author. Unless otherwise noted, these books were originally published in Japanese and read in translation.)

Abe, Kobo - The Woman in the Dunes
Akutagawa, Ryunosuke - Rashomon and other stories
CLAMP - xxxHolic, vol. 1 (manga)
Hino, Matsuri - Vampire Knight, v. 1-3 (manga)
Ibuse, Masuji - Black Rain (based on true accounts)
Ichikawa, Takuji - Be With You
Ishiguro, Kazuo - An Artist of the Floating World (British, written in English)
Iwasaki, Mineko - Geisha of Gion (NF)
Kadohata, Cynthia - Kira-Kira (American of Japanese descent, written in English)
Kanehara, Hitomi - Snakes & Earrings
Katayama, Kyoichi - Socrates in Love
Kawabata, Yasunari - The Dancing Girl of Izu and other stories
Kawabata, Yasunari - Snow Country
Kawabata, Yasunari - Thousand Cranes
Kawakami, Sumie - Goodbye Madame Butterfly: Sex, Marriage and the Modern Japanese Woman (NF)
Kirino, Natsuo - Out
Kirino, Natsuo - Grotesque
Komomo (& Naoyuki Ogino) - A Geisha's Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice (NF)
Miyabe, Miyuki - All She Was Worth
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 1 (manga)
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 2 - 7 (manga)
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 8 (manga)
Mori, Kaoru - Emma, vol. 9 & 10 (manga)
Mori, Kyoko - Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures (Japanese American, written in English)
Murakami, Haruki - After Dark
Murakami, Haruki - after the quake
Murakami, Haruki - The Elephant Vanishes
Murakami, Haruki - Kafka on the Shore
Murakami, Ryu - Audition
Murakami, Ryu - In the Miso Soup
Ōe, Kenzaburo - The Silent Cry
Ogawa, Ito - The Restaurant of Love Regained
Ogawa, Yoko - The Housekeeper and the Professor
Ogawa, Yoko - Hotel Iris
Shonagon, Sei - The Pillow Book
Suzuki, D.T. - Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings (NF)
Tanizaki, Junichiro - The Makioka Sisters
Tawada, Yoko - The Bridegroom was a Dog
Tsutsui, Yasutaka - Paprika
Ueda, Akinari - Tales of Moonlight and Rain
Urasawa, Naoki - Monster, vol. 1 (manga)
Watanabe, Jun'ichi - Beyond the Blossoming Fields
Yamada, Taichi - Strangers
Yamamoto, Tsunetomo - Hagakure: The Code of the Samurai (manga)
Yoshimoto, Banana - Kitchen

(Alphabetical by Title)

The Ash Garden - Dennis Bock
Big in Japan: A Ghost Story - M. Thomas Gammarino
The Character of Rain - Amélie Nothomb
Clouds Over Mountains - Matt Joseph
Hitching Rides with Buddha - Will Ferguson (travel memoir)
How to Be an American Housewife - Margaret Dilloway
Kuhaku & Other Accounts from Japan - Bruce Rutledge (editor) (essays, stories)
Kwaidan: Ghost Stories and Strange Tales of Old Japan - Lafcadio Hearn
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Plum Wine - Angela Davis-Gardner
Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne - Ben Hills (NF)
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes - Eleanor Coerr
Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation - Michael Zielenziger (NF)
Taroko Gorge - Jacob Ritari
A Year in Japan - Kate T. Williamson (NF)

Rei Shimura mystery series by Sujata Massey:
Zen Attitude
The Flower Master
The Floating Girl
The Bride's Kimono


  1. Did you know that Chin Music Press has another title out on Japanese culture?

    "Goodbye Madame Butterfly" by Sumie Kawakami.

  2. Teresa- No I didn't. Thanks for letting me know. I'll definitely check it out. :)

  3. The Makioka Sisters is on its way to my house, courtesy of Paperback Swap and on your recommendation. Snakes and Earrings . . . couldn't get through it; that book was far too disturbing for me. I actually dug the receipt out of the trash and returned it to the store.

  4. Nancy- Snakes and Earrings was pretty disturbing. Not really a world I know anything about thankfully. I hope you enjoy The Makioka Sisters whenever you get to it.

  5. So glad I came across this list of Japanese literature - Thank you for sharing.

    Am in Tokyo right now, was searching for good books set in Japan. Enjoyed reading your posts on Japan and reviews and also the links from your blog, especially the one on Japanese folklore.

    Arigato Gozaimasu!

  6. A Reader from India- There are of course many many more books that I haven't read yet but I'm glad this small list gave you someplace to start.
    Hope you enjoy your time in Tokyo.

  7. Hi, I have made my list of the reading Japan challenge, when you next choose a Japanese Novel let me know and I will read it along with you. I have made notes of the ones you have allready read, a yummy collection :)

  8. Madeleine- I just had a look at your list. I see you've already read 'Kafka on the Shore' by Murakami. I'm looking forward to reading it this year. I'll let you know what I pick up next. :)

  9. I love Japanese literature too. Great list :)

  10. mee- And I hope the list will keep getting longer. :)

  11. I love your long list! Have started reading Japanese novels and mysteries set in Japan and reviewed several of them.

    This is very nice!

  12. Book Bird Dog - I hope to keep adding to this list as I read more Japanese literature. There are so many more that I want to read!

  13. What a great idea. I love your button, may I use it for a list of my own reading?

  14. Sandra - Sure, you can use the button if you like. I look forward to seeing a list of the Japanese books you've read.

  15. Wow this is a great list. Thanks. It's a pretty comprehensive site you have here :)

  16. Mark David - Thanks. I'm looking forward to reading more Japanese lit and adding more titles to the list.

  17. Hi Nat:D

    I just reviewed COIN LOCKER BABIES for Bellezza's challenge and reading Japan.

  18. Hi Sylvie. Thanks for letting me know. I've only read one book by Ryu Murakami so far, In the Miso Soup, but I'm very interested to know what you thought of this one.


Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you and I read every single one!

P.S. In an effort to eliminate spam, I moderate all comments, so there will most likely be a delay between when you submit the comment and when it appears on the post. Please let me know if you have any trouble leaving comments here, and you can also chat with me on Twitter, if you prefer. Happy Reading!