Popular Japanese Literature Books

28+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Japanese Literature

Discover the list of some best books written on Japanese Literature by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Japanese Literature highly popular among the readers worldwide.

4.2/5

The Sakura Obsession: The Incredible Story of the Plant Hunter Who Saved Japan's Cherry Blossoms by Naoko Abe

The remarkable 1,200-year history of the Japanese cherry blossom tree--and how it was saved from extinction by an English gardener. Collingwood "Cherry" Ingram first fell in love with the sakura, or cherry tree, when he visited Japan on his honeymoon in 1907. So taken with the plant, he brought back hundreds of cuttings with him to England, where he created a garden of cher The remarkable 1,200-year history of the Japanese cherry blossom tree--and how it was saved from extinction by an English gardener. Collingwood "Cherry" Ingram first fell in love with the sakura, or cherry tree, when he visited Japan on his honeymoon in 1907. So taken with the plant, he brought back hundreds of cuttings with him to England, where he created a garden of cherry varieties. In 1926, he learned that the Great White Cherry had become extinct in Japan. Six years later, he buried a living cutting from his own collection in a potato and repatriated it via the Trans-Siberian Express. In the years that followed, Ingram sent more than 100 varieties of cherry tree to new homes around the globe, from Auckland to Washington. As much a history of the cherry blossom in Japan as it is the story of one remarkable man, the narrative follows the flower from its adoption as a national symbol in 794, through its use as an emblem of imperialism in the 1930s, to the present-day worldwide obsession with forecasting the exact moment of the trees' flowering.

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5/5

コンビニ人間 [Konbini ningen] by Sayaka Murata , 村田 沙耶香

36歳未婚女性、古倉恵子。 大学卒業後も就職せず、コンビニのバイトは18年目。 これまで彼氏なし。 オープン当初からスマイルマート日色駅前店で働き続け、 変わりゆくメンバーを見送りながら、店長は8人目だ。 日々食べるのはコンビニ食、夢の中でもコンビニのレジを打ち、 清潔なコンビニの風景と「いらっしゃいませ!」の掛け声が、 毎日の安らかな眠りをもたらしてくれる。 仕事も家庭もある同窓生たちからどんなに不思議がられても、 完璧なマニュアルの存在するコンビニこそが、 私を世界の正常な「部品」にしてくれる――。 ある日、婚活目的の新入り男性、白羽がやってきて、 そんなコンビニ的生き方は 「恥ずかしくないのか」とつきつけられるが……。 現代の実存を問い、 正常と異常の境目がゆらぐ衝撃のリアリズム小説。

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3.5/5

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondō

Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has revolutionized homes—and lives—across the world. Now, Kondo presents an illustrated guide to her acclaimed KonMari Method, with step-by-step folding illustrations for everything from shirts to socks, plus drawings of perfectly organized drawers and closets. She also provides advice on freque Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has revolutionized homes—and lives—across the world. Now, Kondo presents an illustrated guide to her acclaimed KonMari Method, with step-by-step folding illustrations for everything from shirts to socks, plus drawings of perfectly organized drawers and closets. She also provides advice on frequently asked questions, such as whether to keep “necessary” items that may not bring you joy. With guidance on specific categories including kitchen tools, cleaning supplies, hobby goods, and digital photos, this comprehensive companion is sure to spark joy in anyone who wants to simplify their life.

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3.5/5

Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami , Philip Gabriel (Translator) , Ted Goossen (Translator)

The epic new novel from the internationally acclaimed and best-selling author of 1Q84 In Killing Commendatore, a thirty-something portrait painter in Tokyo is abandoned by his wife and finds himself holed up in the mountain home of a famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. When he discovers a previously unseen painting in the attic, he unintentionally opens a circle of mysterious ci The epic new novel from the internationally acclaimed and best-selling author of 1Q84 In Killing Commendatore, a thirty-something portrait painter in Tokyo is abandoned by his wife and finds himself holed up in the mountain home of a famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. When he discovers a previously unseen painting in the attic, he unintentionally opens a circle of mysterious circumstances. To close it, he must complete a journey that involves a mysterious ringing bell, a two-foot-high physical manifestation of an Idea, a dapper businessman who lives across the valley, a precocious thirteen-year-old girl, a Nazi assassination attempt during World War II in Vienna, a pit in the woods behind the artist’s home, and an underworld haunted by Double Metaphors. A tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art—as well as a loving homage to The Great Gatsby—Killing Commendatore is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.

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3.9/5

僕のヒーローアカデミア 18 [Boku No Hero Academia 18] by Kohei Horikoshi , Kohei Horikoshi

エリさんの「巻き戻す」“個性”の力を借りて、100%の力を解放して戦う緑谷くん。きっと何かの為…誰かを守る為に戦うのがヒーローなんだ! 僕も必ずいつか! 心はいつでも“Plus Ultra”!!

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3.1/5

Ikigai: Los secretos de Japón para una vida larga y feliz by Hector Garcia Puigcerver , Francesc Miralles

“Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.” —Japanese proverb According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai—a reason for living. And according to the residents of the Japanese village with the world’s longest-living people, finding it is the key to a happier and longer life. Having a strong sense of ikigai—the place where passion, mission, vocatio “Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.” —Japanese proverb According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai—a reason for living. And according to the residents of the Japanese village with the world’s longest-living people, finding it is the key to a happier and longer life. Having a strong sense of ikigai—the place where passion, mission, vocation, and profession intersect—means that each day is infused with meaning. It’s the reason we get up in the morning. It’s also the reason many Japanese never really retire (in fact there’s no word in Japanese that means retire in the sense it does in English): They remain active and work at what they enjoy, because they’ve found a real purpose in life—the happiness of always being busy. In researching this book, the authors interviewed the residents of the Japanese village with the highest percentage of 100-year-olds—one of the world’s Blue Zones. Ikigai reveals the secrets to their longevity and happiness: how they eat, how they move, how they work, how they foster collaboration and community, and—their best-kept secret—how they find the ikigai that brings satisfaction to their lives. And it provides practical tools to help you discover your own ikigai. Because who doesn’t want to find happiness in every day?

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3.3/5

Hombres sin mujeres by Haruki Murakami , Gabriel Álvarez Martínez (Traductor)

Haruki Murakami ofrece a los lectores siete relatos en torno al aislamiento y la soledad que preceden o siguen a la relación amorosa: hombres que han perdido a una mujer, o cuya relación ha estado marcada por el desencuentro, asisten inermes al regreso de los fantasmas del pasado, viven el enamoramiento como una enfermedad letal, son incapaces de establecer una comunicació Haruki Murakami ofrece a los lectores siete relatos en torno al aislamiento y la soledad que preceden o siguen a la relación amorosa: hombres que han perdido a una mujer, o cuya relación ha estado marcada por el desencuentro, asisten inermes al regreso de los fantasmas del pasado, viven el enamoramiento como una enfermedad letal, son incapaces de establecer una comunicación plena con la pareja, o ven extrañamente interrumpida su historia de amor. Otros experimentan atormentados amores no correspondidos o, incluso, como en el relato protagonizado por una metamorfosis kafkiana, desconocen todavía los mecanismos del afecto y del sexo. Sin embargo, las verdaderas protagonistas de estos relatos —llenos de guiños a los Beatles, el jazz, Kafka, Las mil y una noches o, en el caso del título, Hemingway—, son ellas, las mujeres, que, misteriosas, irrumpen en la vida de los hombres para desaparecer, dejando una huella imborrable en la vida de aquellos que las han amado, o de los que, al menos, intentaron amarlas.

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3.3/5

The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story by Marie Kondō , Yuko Uramoto (Illustrator)

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author and lifestyle/cleaning guru Marie Kondo, this graphic novelization brings Kondo's life-changing tidying method to life with the fun, quirky story of a woman who transforms her home, work, and love life using Kondo's advice and inspiration. Marie Kondo presents the fictional story of Chiaki, a young woman in Tokyo who struggles From the #1 New York Times best-selling author and lifestyle/cleaning guru Marie Kondo, this graphic novelization brings Kondo's life-changing tidying method to life with the fun, quirky story of a woman who transforms her home, work, and love life using Kondo's advice and inspiration. Marie Kondo presents the fictional story of Chiaki, a young woman in Tokyo who struggles with a cluttered apartment, messy love life, and lack of direction. After receiving a complaint from her attractive next-door neighbor about the sad state of her balcony, Chiaki gets Kondo to take her on as a client. Through a series of entertaining and insightful lessons, Kondo helps Chiaki get her home--and life--in order. This insightful, illustrated case study is perfect for people looking for a fun introduction to the KonMari Method of tidying up, as well as tried-and-true fans of Marie Kondo eager for a new way to think about what sparks joy. Featuring illustrations by award-winning manga artist Yuko Uramoto, this book also makes a great read for manga and graphic novel lovers of all ages.

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3/5

My Brother's Husband, Volume 2 by Gengoroh Tagame , Anne Ishii (Translator)

The concluding volume in the story of Yaichi, his daughter Kana, and how their meeting Mike Flanagan--Yaichi's brother-in-law--changes their lives and perceptions of acceptance of homosexuality in their contemporary Japanese culture. As Mike continues his journey of discovery concerning Ryoji's past, Yaichi gradually comes to understand that being gay is just another way of The concluding volume in the story of Yaichi, his daughter Kana, and how their meeting Mike Flanagan--Yaichi's brother-in-law--changes their lives and perceptions of acceptance of homosexuality in their contemporary Japanese culture. As Mike continues his journey of discovery concerning Ryoji's past, Yaichi gradually comes to understand that being gay is just another way of being human. And that, in many ways, remains a radical concept in Japan even today. In the meantime, the bond between Mike and young Kana grows ever stronger, and yet he is going to have to return to Canada soon--a fact that fills them both with impending heartbreak. But not before more than a few revelations come to light.

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3.3/5

とんがり帽子のアトリエ 1 by Kamome Shirahama , 白浜鴎

小さな村の少女・ココは、昔から魔法使いにあこがれを抱いていた。だが、生まれた時から魔法を使えない人は魔法使いになれないし、魔法をかける瞬間を見てはならない……。そのため、魔法使いになる夢は諦めていた。だが、ある日、村を訪れた魔法使い・キーフリーが魔法を使うところを見てしまい……。これは少女に訪れた、絶望と希望の物語。

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4.7/5

Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito , 伊藤潤二

A new collection of delightfully macabre tales from a master of horror manga. An old wooden mansion that turns on its inhabitants. A dissection class with a most unusual subject. A funeral where the dead are definitely not laid to rest. Ranging from the terrifying to the comedic, from the erotic to the loathsome, these stories showcase Junji Ito's long-awaited return to th A new collection of delightfully macabre tales from a master of horror manga. An old wooden mansion that turns on its inhabitants. A dissection class with a most unusual subject. A funeral where the dead are definitely not laid to rest. Ranging from the terrifying to the comedic, from the erotic to the loathsome, these stories showcase Junji Ito's long-awaited return to the world of horror. Ma no Kakera (魔の断片, also titled Shard of Evil or Fragments of Horror), is a series of short stories by Junji Ito. It began serialization in the first issue of the revived Nemuki+ (ネムキプラス) magazine on April 13, 2013. It was subsequently published as a collection in Japan in June 2014, with the final story, "Whispering Woman", having been previously published in Shinkan (シンカン) rather than Nemuki+. In December 2014, it was licensed by VIZ Media to be released in English in June 2015, under the "Fragments of Horror" title. Chapters: Futon (Blanket) Haunted Wood Mansion Tomio: Red Turtleneck Lingering Farewell Dissection Girl Black Bird Magami Nanakuse Whispering Woman

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3.6/5

Een Idea verschijnt by Haruki Murakami , Elbrich Fennema (translator) , Luk Van Haute (translator)

Een zesendertigjarige pas gescheiden portretschilder neemt zijn intrek in een oud atelier in de bergachtige omgeving ten zuidwesten van Tokio. Behalve door liefdesperikelen wordt hij geplaagd door een painter’s block, een onvermogen om te schilderen. Hij hoopt in het afgelegen atelier tot rust te komen, en zijn inspiratie terug te vinden, maar het zal anders gaan. Een myst Een zesendertigjarige pas gescheiden portretschilder neemt zijn intrek in een oud atelier in de bergachtige omgeving ten zuidwesten van Tokio. Behalve door liefdesperikelen wordt hij geplaagd door een painter’s block, een onvermogen om te schilderen. Hij hoopt in het afgelegen atelier tot rust te komen, en zijn inspiratie terug te vinden, maar het zal anders gaan. Een mysterieus schilderij op de zolder van zijn verblijf lijkt tot leven te komen, vanuit een heuvel in het bos achter het huis klinkt ’s nachts het geluid van een bel. Een meisje verdwijnt, en de hoofdpersoon gaat haar zoeken – een zoektocht die hem afvoert naar de wereld der metaforen, waar hij met zijn diepste angsten wordt geconfronteerd.

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4.6/5

フルーツバスケットanother 1 by Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket manga creator Natsuki Takaya will launch the Fruits Basket another sequel manga. The manga will take place after Tohru has graduated high school, and will feature a girl named Sawa who has just entered the high school.

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4.8/5

Awakening Your Ikigai: How the Japanese Wake Up to Joy and Purpose Every Day by Ken Mogi

Introducing IKIGAI: find your passions and live with joy Ikigai is a Japanese phenomenon commonly understood as “your reason to get up in the morning.” Ikigai can be small moments: the morning air, a cup of coffee, a compliment. It can also be deep convictions: a fulfilling job, lasting friendships, balanced health. Whether big or small, your ikigai is the path to success a Introducing IKIGAI: find your passions and live with joy Ikigai is a Japanese phenomenon commonly understood as “your reason to get up in the morning.” Ikigai can be small moments: the morning air, a cup of coffee, a compliment. It can also be deep convictions: a fulfilling job, lasting friendships, balanced health. Whether big or small, your ikigai is the path to success and happiness in your own life. Author Ken Mogi introduces five pillars of ikigai to help you make the most of each day and become your most authentic self: 1. starting small > focus on the details 2. releasing yourself > accept who you are 3. harmony and sustainability > rely on others 4. the joy of little things > appreciate sensory pleasure 5. being in the here and now > find your flow. Weaving together insights from Japanese history, philosophy, and modern culture, plus stories from renowned sushi chef Jiro Ono, anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, and others, Mogi skillfully shows the way to awaken your ikigai.

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4.1/5

Shinrin-Yoku: The Art and Science of Forest Bathing by Qing Li

Shinrin = Forest Yoku = Bathing Shinrin-Yoku or forest bathing is the practice of spending time in the forest for better health, happiness and a sense of calm. A pillar of Japanese culture for decades, Shinrin-Yoku is a way to reconnect with nature, from walking mindfully in the woods, to a break in your local park, to walking barefoot on your lawn. Forest Medicine expert, D Shinrin = Forest Yoku = Bathing Shinrin-Yoku or forest bathing is the practice of spending time in the forest for better health, happiness and a sense of calm. A pillar of Japanese culture for decades, Shinrin-Yoku is a way to reconnect with nature, from walking mindfully in the woods, to a break in your local park, to walking barefoot on your lawn. Forest Medicine expert, Dr Qing Li's research has proven that spending time around trees (even filling your home with house plants and vaporising essential tree oils) can reduce blood pressure, lower stress, boost energy, boost immune system and even help you to lose weight. Along with his years of ground-breaking research, anecdotes on the life-changing power of trees, Dr Li provides here the practical ways for you to try Shinrin-Yoku for yourself.

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3.1/5

The Emissary by Yōko Tawada , Margaret Mitsutani (Translator)

Japan, after suffering from a massive irreparable disaster, cuts itself off from the world. Children are so weak they can barely stand or walk: the only people with any get-go are the elderly. Mumei lives with his grandfather Yoshiro, who worries about him constantly. They carry on a day-to-day routine in what could be viewed as a post-Fukushima time, with all the children Japan, after suffering from a massive irreparable disaster, cuts itself off from the world. Children are so weak they can barely stand or walk: the only people with any get-go are the elderly. Mumei lives with his grandfather Yoshiro, who worries about him constantly. They carry on a day-to-day routine in what could be viewed as a post-Fukushima time, with all the children born ancient—frail and gray-haired, yet incredibly compassionate and wise. Mumei may be enfeebled and feverish, but he is a beacon of hope, full of wit and free of self-pity and pessimism. Yoshiro concentrates on nourishing Mumei, a strangely wonderful boy who offers “the beauty of the time that is yet to come.” A delightful, irrepressibly funny book, The Emissary is filled with light. Yoko Tawada, deftly turning inside-out “the curse,” defies gravity and creates a playful joyous novel out of a dystopian one, with a legerdemain uniquely her own.

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3.5/5

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami , Jay Rubin (Translator)

Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unb Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman. A poignant story of one college student's romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.

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3.2/5

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami , Philip Gabriel (Translator)

Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reas Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle—yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.

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4.8/5

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami , Jay Rubin (Translator)

Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II. In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds h Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II. In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria. Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force equal in scope to the masterpieces of Mishima and Pynchon. Three books in one volume: The Thieving Magpie, Bird as Prophet, The Birdcatcher. This translation by Jay Rubin is in collaboration with the author.

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4.7/5

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami , Jay Rubin (Translator) , Philip Gabriel (Translator)

The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled. As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector. A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s — 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.

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4/5

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami , Alfred Birnbaum (Translator)

'A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami's international follo 'A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami's international following. Tracking one man's descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy.'

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3.4/5

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami , Philip Gabriel (Translator)

Alternate cover edition here. Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Kerouac novel. Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K about the big questions in life: what is sexual desire Alternate cover edition here. Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Kerouac novel. Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K about the big questions in life: what is sexual desire, and should she ever tell Miu how she feels for her? Meanwhile K wonders whether he should confess his own unrequited love for Sumire. Then, a desperate Miu calls from a small Greek island: Sumire has mysteriously vanished...

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3.4/5

After Dark by Haruki Murakami , Jay Rubin (Translator)

A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami’s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore. At its center are two sisters—Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny’s A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami’s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore. At its center are two sisters—Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny’s toward people whose lives are radically alien to her own: a jazz trombonist who claims they’ve met before, a burly female “love hotel” manager and her maid staff, and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman. These “night people” are haunted by secrets and needs that draw them together more powerfully than the differing circumstances that might keep them apart, and it soon becomes clear that Eri’s slumber—mysteriously tied to the businessman plagued by the mark of his crime—will either restore or annihilate her. After Dark moves from mesmerizing drama to metaphysical speculation, interweaving time and space as well as memory and perspective into a seamless exploration of human agency—the interplay between self-expression and empathy, between the power of observation and the scope of compassion and love. Murakami’s trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary, harmonious mastery.

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4.3/5

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto , Megan Backus (Translator)

Banana Yoshimoto's novels have made her a sensation in Japan and all over the world, and Kitchen, the dazzling English-language debut that is still her best-loved book, is an enchantingly original and deeply affecting book about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home in the lives of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan. Mikage, t Banana Yoshimoto's novels have made her a sensation in Japan and all over the world, and Kitchen, the dazzling English-language debut that is still her best-loved book, is an enchantingly original and deeply affecting book about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home in the lives of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan. Mikage, the heroine of Kitchen, is an orphan raised by her grandmother, who has passed away. Grieving, she is taken in by her friend Yoichi and his mother (who was once his father), Eriko. As the three of them form an improvised family that soon weathers its own tragic losses, Yoshimoto spins a lovely, evocative tale that recalls early Marguerite Duras. Kitchen and its companion story, "Moonlight Shadow," are elegant tales whose seeming simplicity is the ruse of a writer whose voice echoes in the mind and the soul.

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3.7/5

A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami , Alfred Birnbaum (Translator)

His life was like a recurring nightmare: a train to nowhere. But an ordinary life has a way of taking an extraordinary turn. Add a girl whose ears are so exquisite that, when uncovered, they improve sex a thousand-fold, a runaway friend, a right-wing politico, an ovine-obsessed professor and a manic-depressive in a sheep outfit, implicate them in a hunt for a sheep, that m His life was like a recurring nightmare: a train to nowhere. But an ordinary life has a way of taking an extraordinary turn. Add a girl whose ears are so exquisite that, when uncovered, they improve sex a thousand-fold, a runaway friend, a right-wing politico, an ovine-obsessed professor and a manic-depressive in a sheep outfit, implicate them in a hunt for a sheep, that may or may not be running the world, and the upshot is another singular masterpiece from Japan's finest novelist.

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4.1/5

South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami , Philip Gabriel (Translator)

Alternate cover edition here. Growing up in the suburbs of post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father's record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade Alternate cover edition here. Growing up in the suburbs of post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father's record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present.

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5/5

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

A New York Times and Washington Post notable book, and one of the Financial Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Slate, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, and BookPage's best books of the year An instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the remarkable story of a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have A New York Times and Washington Post notable book, and one of the Financial Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Slate, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, and BookPage's best books of the year An instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the remarkable story of a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. Here Haruki Murakami—one of the most revered voices in literature today—gives us a story of love, friend­ship, and heartbreak for the ages.

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3.2/5

Kokoro by Sōseki Natsume , Edwin McClellan (Translator)

Hailed by The New Yorker as "rich in understanding and insight," Kokoro — "the heart of things" — is the work of one of Japan's most popular authors. This thought-provoking trilogy of stories explores the very essence of loneliness and stands as a stirring introduction to modern Japanese literature.

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