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Even if you happen to live near a specialty bookstore, a good selection of Japan literature in translation is hard to find. That's why we've handpicked these titles to offer a broad range of authors and styles.

If you're looking for The Tale of Genji, it's here. But consider sampling an unfamiliar author or two -- you might stumble onto a body of work that will delight you for years.

Some of these authors would be classified as "literature" and some probably lean more toward "pop fiction," but they all share one characteristic: in their own way, they're very good.

Enjoy.

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Short Stories




The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories icon




The Crazy Iris and Other Stories of the Atomic Aftermath icon




Digital Geishas and Talking Frogs: The Best 21st Century Short Stories from Japan icon


Authors




KOBO ABE (1924-1993)
The Woman in the Dunes icon




RYUNOSUKE AKUTAGAWA (1892-1927)
Rashomon icon




OSAMU DAZAI (1909-1948)
No Longer Human icon




SHUSAKU ENDO (1923-1996)
The Samurai icon




MASUJI IBUSE (1898-1993)
Black Rain icon




YASUSHI INOUE (1907-1991)
Tun-huang icon




KAZUO ISHIGURO (1954)
An Artist of the Floating World icon




JUN ISHIKAWA (1899-1987)
The Legend of Gold and Other Stories icon




NAGAI KAFU (1879-1959)
American Stories icon




YASUNARI KAWABATA (1899-1972)
Snow Country icon




NATSUO KIRINO (1951)
Out icon




SEICHO MATSUMOTO (1909-1992)
Inspector Imanishi Investigates icon




YUKIO MISHIMA (1925-1970)
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion icon




MIYUKI MIYABE (1960)
All She Was Worth icon




KENJI MIYAZAWA (1896-1933)
Once and Forever icon




HARUKI MURAKAMI (1949)
Kafka on the Shore icon




RYU MURAKAMI (1952)
Coin Locker Babies icon




SOSEKI NATSUME (1867-1916)
Botchan icon




KENZABURO OE (1935)
The Silent Cry icon




YOKO OGAWA (1962)
The Housekeeper and the Professor icon




SHOHEI OOKA (1909-1988)
Fires on the Plain icon




EDOGAWA RAMPO (1894-1965)
Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination icon




RYOKAN (1758-1831)
Zen Fool Ryokan icon




MURASAKI SHIKIBU (973-1025)
The Tale of Genji icon




JUNZO SHONO (1921-2009)
Evening Clouds icon




AKIMITSU TAKAGI (1920-1995)
The Tattoo Murder Case icon




KOUSHUN TAKAMI (1969)
Battle Royale icon




MICHIO TAKEYAMA (1903-1984)
Harp of Burma icon




JUNICHIRO TANIZAKI (1886-1965)
The Makioka Sisters icon




EIJI YOSHIKAWA (1892-1962)
Musashi icon




BANANA YOSHIMOTO (1964)
The Lake icon




AKIRA YOSHIMURA (1927-2006)
Shipwrecks icon