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If you're looking for The Tale of Genji, it's here -- but please don't end your foray into Japanese literature there! Hands-down the best way to find out about Japan (short of actually living there, of course) is to peruse a few of these titles. Some of these authors would be classified as "literature" and some probably lean more toward "pop fiction," but they all share one characteristic: they're very good. Don't leave home without reading at least a couple!

SHORT STORIES/COLLECTIONS (by title) | FICTION (by author): Kobo Abe, Takeo Arishima, Sawako Ariyoshi, Takashi Atoda, Osamu Dazai, Kaori Ekuni, Fumiko Enchi, Shusaku Endo, Yoshikichi Furui, Masuji Ibuse, Shotaro Ikenami, Natsuki Ikezawa, Yasushi Inoue, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jun Ishikawa, Takuboku Ishikawa, Kyoka Izumi, Nagai Kafu, Otohiko Kaga, Takeshi Kaiko, Hitomi Kanehara, Yasunari Kawabata, Natsuo Kirino, Morio Kita, Kenzo Kitakata, Satoko Kizaki, Taeko Kono, Yumiko Kurahashi, Senji Kuroi, Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, Saiichi Maruya, Seicho Matsumoto, Yukio Mishima, Miyuki Miyabe, Kenji Miyazawa, Kuniko Mukoda, Haruki Murakami, Ryu Murakami, Shikibu Murasaki, Takashi Nagai, Kenji Nakagami, Soseki Natsume, Jiro Nitta, Fumio Niwa, Hiroshi Noma, Kenzaburo Oe, Mori Ogai, Kanoko Okamoto, Hikaru Okuizumi, Shohei Ooka, Jiro Osaragi, Hirotada Ototake, Junichi Saga, Sanki Saitoh, Kappa Senoh, Harumi Setouchi, Naoya Shiga, Masahiko Shimada, Toshio Shimao, Toson Shimazaki, Ikko Shimizu, Arai Shinya, Junzo Shono, Koji Suzuki, Masaaki Tachihara, Randy Taguchi, Akimitsu Takagi, Michio Takeyama, Junichiro Tanizaki, Yoko Tawada, Osamu Tezuka, Taeko Tomioka, Kunio Tsuji, Takashi Tsujii, Gail Tsukiyama, Yuko Tsushima, Yoshiko Uchida, Chiyo Uno, Koji Uno, Junichi Watanabe, Amy Yamada, Taichi Yamada, Shotaro Yasuoka, Seishi Yokomizo, Eiji Yoshikawa, Banana Yoshimoto | Akira Yoshimura, Junnosuke Yoshiyuki | POETRY (by title) | CRITICISM, GUIDES AND BIOGRAPHY (by title)

Short Stories/Collections

A Dark Night's Passing (Japan's Modern Writers) by Naoya Shiga, Edwin McClellan (Translator) Paperback

A Late Chrysanthemum: Twenty-One Stories from the Japanese by Lane Dunlop (Editor) Paperback

Anthology of Japanese Literature from the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century by Donald Keene (Editor) Paperback

Be a Woman: Hayashi Fumiko and Modern Japanese Women's Literature by Joan E. Ericson, Fumiko Horoki Hayashi, Fumiko Suisen Hayashi Paperback
342 pages

The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories Paperback
A fun collection of stories. Ignore the pretentious Amazon review.

The Crazy Iris and Other Stories of the Atomic Aftermath by Kenzaburo Oe (Editor), Ivan Morris (Translator) Paperback

The Dark Side of Japanese Business: Three Industry Novels by Ikko Shimizu, Tamae K. Prindle (Editor) Paperback
296 pages

Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology, 1600-1900 by Haruo Shirane Hardcover
1200 pages
Anthology devoted to early modern Japanese literature, spanning the period from 1600 to 1900. Includes fiction, poetry, drama, essays, treatises, literary criticism, comic poetry, adaptations from Chinese, folk stories and other non-canonical works. Over 200 woodblock prints that accompanied the original texts.

Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edogawa Rampo Paperback
Not as good as his namesake (warp "Edgar Allan Poe" a little, for a Japanese audience), but strange and interesting.

Japanese Women Writers: Twentieth Century Short Fiction by Norika Mizuta Lippit (Editor), Kyoko Iriye Selden (Editor) Paperback
285 pages
Fourteen stories.

Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology by Donald Keene (Editor) Paperback

The Mother of Dreams and Other Short Stories: Portrayals of Women in Modern Japanese Fiction by Makoto Ueda (Editor), John Bester (Translator) Paperback
280 pages
An anthology of modern Japanese fiction portraying Japanese women, arranged according to five categories: the maiden, the mistress, the wife, the mother, and the working woman.

New Japanese Voices: The Best Contemporary Fiction from Japan (1992) by Helen Mitsios (Editor) Paperback

The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories by Theodore W. Goossen (Editor) Paperback
This collection of short stories, including many new translations, is the first to span the whole of Japan's modern era from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Beginning with the first writings to assimilate and rework Western literary traditions, through the flourishing of the short story genre in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Taisho era, to the new breed of writers produced under the constraints of literary censorship, and the current writings reflecting the pitfalls and paradoxes of modern life, this anthology offers a stimulating survey of the development of the Japanese short story.

Partings at Dawn: An Anthology of Japanese Gay Literature by Stephen D. Miller (Editor) Paperback
351 pages

The Pleasures of Japanese Literature by Donald Keene, William T. De Bary (Editor) Paperback
Introduction to Japanese literature for the general reader.

Rabbits, Crabs, Etc.: Stories by Japanese Women by Phyllis Birnbaum (Editor) Paperback

A Rainbow in the Desert: An Anthology of Early Twentieth Century Japanese Children's Literature by Yukie Ohta Paperback
188 pages

Rashomon and Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Takashi Kojima (Translator) Paperback
120 pages

The Showa Anthology: Modern Japanese Short Stories 1929-1984 Paperback

Southern Exposure: Modern Japanese Literature from Okinawa by Michael Molasky Paperback
352 pages

Tales of Tears and Laughter: Short Fiction of Medieval Japan by Virginia Skord Paperback
256 pages

Tales of the Supernatural in Early Modern Japan: Kaidan, Akinari, Ugetsu Monogatari by Noriko T. Reider Hardcover
182 pages

Tokyo Stories: A Literary Stroll Paperback
368 pages
Eighteen stories, from literary sketches to popular fiction, centered in Tokyo.

Unmapped Territories: New Womens's Fiction from Japan by Yukiko Tanaka (Editor) Paperback
168 pages



  • The Box Man Paperback
    192 pages
    A man decides to give up the self that he has been all his life to attain a state of blissful anonymity. He leaves his world behind and moves onto the streets of Tokyo. He puts a large box over his head and cuts a hole for his eyes.
  • The Face of Another Paperback
    256 pages
  • Kangaroo Notebook Paperback
    A gentle, self-effacing man who contracts a disorder that makes him a vegetable, and he becomes the victim of forces that alternately torture him, fuss over him, and neglect him.
  • The Ruined Map E. Dale Saunders (Translator) Paperback
    304 pages
  • Secret Rendezvous Paperback
    192 pages
  • The Woman in the Dunes Paperback
    The story of an amateur entomologist who wanders alone into a remote seaside village in pursuit of a rare beetle he wants to add to his collection. But the townspeople take him prisoner. They lower him into the sand-pit home of a young widow, a pariah in the poor community, who the villagers have condemned to a life of shoveling back the ever-encroaching dunes that threaten to bury the town.
  • Three Plays Donald Keene (Translator) Paperback
    233 pages
    Absurdist offerings: "Involuntary Homicide," "The Green Stockings" and "The Ghost is Here."


  • Labyrinth Sanford Goldstein (Translator) Hardcover
    230 pages





  • Twinkle Twinkle Hardcover
    176 pages
    Relationship between a gay man and a straight woman in a marriage of convenience.









  • An Artist of the Floating World Paperback
    206 pages
    A look at postwar Japan through the story of Masuji Ono, a bohemian artist and purveyor of the night life who became a propagandist for Japanese imperialism during the war. But the war is over. Japan lost, Ono's wife and son have been killed, and many young people blame the imperialists for leading the country to disaster.
  • A Pale View of Hills Paperback
    183 pages
    The story of Etsuko, a Japanese woman now living alone in England, dwelling on the recent suicide of her daughter. In a story where past and present confuse, she relives scenes of Japan's devastation in the wake of World War II.
  • The Remains of the Day Paperback
    245 pages
    A tragic, spiritual portrait of a perfect English butler and his reaction to his fading insular world in post-war England.
  • The Unconsoled Paperback
    Arriving in an European city with significant gaps in his memory, Ryder, a renowned pianist, is overwhelmed by an onslaught of strangers who seem to know him and of whom he has vague, dreamlike recollections.
  • When We Were Orphans Paperback
    352 pages


  • The Legend of Gold: And Other Stories Paperback (also available in hardcover)
    Published between 1938 and 1953, these four stories ("Mars' Song," "Moon Gems," "The Legend of Gold," "The Jesus of the Ruins") and one novella (The Raptor) represent the most frequently anthologized short fiction of Japanese modernist Ishikawa Jun (1899-1987).


  • Romaji Diary and Sad Toys Sanford Goldstein (Translator) Paperback
    280 pages
    Includes the novella Romaji Diary and Sad Toys, a collection of 194 Tanka (traditional 31-syllable poems).






  • Snakes and Earrings Hardcover
    128 pages
    This winner of Japan's Akutagawa Prize tells the story of a young woman living in the violent world of Japan’s underground youth culture.



  • Out: A Novel Paperback
    416 pages
    Four women working the night shift in a Tokyo bento factory get caught up in a violent crime. Winner of Japan's Grand Prix award for crime fiction.


  • Ghosts: A Novel Dennis Keene (Translator) Paperback
    The lingering existence of his mother's and sister's spirits shape the narrator's entire coming-of-age experience as he struggles to overcome his obsession with the past.
  • The House of Nire Dennis Keene (Translator) Paperback
    770 pages


  • Ashes Hardcover
    224 pages
    Gritty, hard-boiled mystery.
  • Winter Sleep Paperback
    288 pages
    A story of an ex-con painter who, in searching to elevate his art, takes on two students to literally explosive effect.



  • Toddler-Hunting & Other Stories Lucy North (Translator) Paperback
    272 pages
    Written in the 1960s, these realistic stories "focus on middle-class women in their thirties, married, but with no children."



  • Life in the Cul-De-Sac Paperback
    216 pages
    Kuroi explores modern Japan through the lives of four families who live on a typical street in suburban Tokyo.



  • Grass For My Pillow Hardcover
    320 pages
    The author's first novel is about a conscientious objector who dodges military service by becoming an itinerant peddler. In 1965, he must deal with the consequences.
  • A Mature Woman Paperback
    328 pages
    Strong-willed single woman journalist crosses the leader of a new religion and the ruling political party with one of her editorials.
  • Rain in the Wind: Four Stories Paperback
  • Singular Rebellion Paperback




  • All She Was Worth John Radziewicz (Editor), Alfred Birnbaum (Translator) Paperback
    296 pages
    In Tokyo, a lovely young woman disappears without a trace, leaving behind her distraught fiancé and his very suspicious uncle, police inspector Shunsuke Honma. Honma uncovers the girl's carefully-hidden financial disasters and begins to suspect that her staged vanishing act is the key to a murder.




  • After the Quake: Stories Paperback
    160 pages
    Six stories connected to the 1995 Kobe earthquake.
  • Dance, Dance, Dance Paperback
    Sequel to A Wild Sheep Chase.
  • The Elephant Vanishes: Stories Paperback
    Fifteen short stories. Including the story of a man obsessed with the disappearance of an elephant from a local zoo and that of a young mother, whose sleeplessness provides her with a foretaste of death.
  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Paperback
    Tale of technological espionage, brain-wave tampering, and science-fictional fear and loathing.
  • Kafka on the Shore Hardcover
    448 pages
    Follows the solitary, self-disciplined schoolboy Kafka Tamura as he hops a bus from Tokyo to the randomly chosen town of Takamatsu, reminding himself at each step that he has to be "the world?s toughest fifteen-year-old." He finds a secluded private library in which to spend his days--continuing his impressive self-education--and is befriended by a transgendered clerk and the mysteriously remote head librarian, Miss Saeki, whom he fantasizes may be his long-lost mother.
  • Norwegian Wood Paperback
    304 pages
  • South of the Border, West of the Sun Philip Gabriel (Translator) Paperback
    224 pages
    Hajime meets and falls in love with a girl in elementary school, but he loses touch with her when his family moves to another town. He drifts through high school, college, and his 20s, before marrying and settling into a career as a successful bar owner. Then his childhood sweetheart returns, weighed down with secrets.
  • Sputnik Sweetheart: A Novel Paperback
    224 pages
  • Underground Paperback
    384 pages
  • A Wild Sheep Chase Paperback
    368 pages
    Makes ears a fetish item.
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Jay Rubin (Translator) Paperback
    607 pages
    Toru Okada loses his job, his cat disappears, and then his wife fails to return from work. His search for his wife (and his cat) introduces him to two psychic sisters, a possibly unbalanced teenager, an old soldier who witnessed the massacres on the Chinese mainland at the beginning of the Second World War, and a very shady politician.


  • Almost Transparent Blue Paperback
  • Coin Locker Babies Paperback
    400 pages
    The coin locker babies of the title are two abandoned infants rescued from train station lockers, and the novel follows their adventures through boyhood into manhood. They wander through the sort of hellish, surreal landscape usually associated with dismal sf visions of the future, but in this book the hell is contemporary Japan.
  • In the Miso Soup Hardcover
    240 pages
    Easygoing young Kenji makes good money guiding Americans through Tokyo's seamy nightlife. His teenage girlfriend has no objections, as long as he reserves New Year's Eve for her. But Kenji's latest client, a simmering psychopath called Frank, disrupts those holiday plans. He wants to regale Kenji with crazy monologues as he hypnotizes low-level sex workers. A fat man with superhuman strength, skin that's metallic to the touch, and an unsettling habit of telling contradictory lies, Frank immediately raises the guide's hackles. Kenji even suspects that this ugliest of Americans dismembered a local schoolgirl and immolated a homeless man. But until he can prove his suspicions--and for a disturbing while after--Kenji will keep leading this monster man from one bizarre scene to another. It's a compelling nightmare for Kenji and the reader, who both hope he'll either wake up screaming or escape and alert the cops. Instead, everyone remains in evil's thrall until it's too late.
  • 69: Sixty-Nine Hardcover
    192 pages


  • The Tale of Genji translated by Royall Tyler Paperback
    1216 pages
    Tyler's translation is detailed, poetic, and superbly true to the Japanese original while allowing the modern reader to appreciate it as a contemporary treasure. Supplemented with detailed notes, glossaries, character lists, and chronologies to help the reader navigate the multigenerational narrative.
  • The Tale of Genji: Legends and Paintings by Miyeko Murase Hardcover
    144 pages
    This volume of miniature paintings represents the epitome of traditional Genji iconography as established by the Tosa School in the 17th century, the most familiar visual vocabulary of Genji illustrations. These images make up one of the finest and most complete sets existing to illustrate this literary masterpiece. The 54 full-page color reproductions capture the aristocratic sophistication of the Heian court, re-creating the ideals of that introspective society. Murase, a renowned scholar at Columbia University and a research curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, provides a historical overview of the tale, the author, the literary atmosphere, and the uniqueness of these illustrations. Commentaries on each of the images briefly summarized the scene depicted on each painting.
  • The Tale of Genji: A Reader's Guide by William J. Puette Paperback
    196 pages
    Explains the Heian Court culture, prevailing religious doctrines, Heian poetry, and Lady Murasaki's life. Maps and illustrations.



  • The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto by Kenji Nakagami, Eve Zimmerman (Translator) Paperback
    160 pages
    Pretty grim novella (about a young man and his disfunctional family) and two short stories by ``the Japanese Faulkner.''
  • Snakelust by Kenji Nakagami, Andrew Rankin (Translator) Hardcover
    144 pages






  • A Personal Matter Paperback
    A young man of modest abilities and crimped ambitions finds that his young, fragile wife is giving birth. Nobel Prize winner Oe can be a tough read at times, but worth the effort.
  • A Quiet Life Paperback
    The story of a writer's family and his rediscovery of his place therein.
  • An Echo of Heaven Margaret Mitsutani (Translator) Hardcover
    Marie Kuraki, a seductive, perverse intellectual whose two young sons, one retarded and one crippled, commit suicide. This begins Marie's intellectual, spiritual, and sexual journey to find meaning in this horrific tragedy.
  • A Healing Family Yukari Oe (Illustrator), Stephen Snyder (Translator), S. Shaw (Editor) Hardcover
    146 pages
    Intimate portrait of his son, born with a brain deformity, that reflects on the challenges and pleasures of raising a handicapped person and the healing power of the family. Illustrated with sketches of family life painted by his wife
  • Hiroshima Notes David L. Swain (Translator), Toshi Yonezawa (Translator) Paperback
    A statement on the meaning of the Hiroshima bombing.
  • Japan, the Ambiguous, and Myself: The Nobel Prize Speech and Other Lectures Hardcover
  • Nip the Buds Shoot the Kids Paul St. John MacKintosh (Translator), Maki Sugiyama (Translator) Paperback
    Fifteen teenage reformatory boys are evacuated to a remote mountain village in wartime. When plague breaks out, the villagers flee, leaving the boys blockaded inside the empty village. The boys' brief, doomed attempt to build autonomous lives of self-respect, love, and tribal valor fails in the face of death and the adult nightmare of war.
  • The Pinch Runner Memorandum Michiko N. Wilson (Translator) Hardcover
    251 pages
  • Rouse Up, O Young Men of the New Age Paperback
    272 pages
  • The Silent Cry: A Novel John Bester (Translator) Paperback
    Awarded the Tanizaki Prize, The Silent Cry is the story of two brothers. The elder, Mitsu, is a reclusive scholar; the younger, Takashi, is drawn to political activism. They return to their ancestral village, where Takashi attempts to stage a protest against a Korean who is taking over the village. As the last descendant of an old and honorable family, he considers this a significant gesture.
  • Somersault Hardcover
    720 pages
    A story about the charisma of leaders, the danger of zealotry, and the mystery of faith, probably inspired by the Aum Shinrikyo cult, which released sarin gas in Tokyo's subway system.
  • Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness John Nathan (Translator) Paperback




  • The Stones Cry Out Paperback
    138 pages
    This winner of the Akutagawa Prize traces 20 years in the life of World War II veteran Tsuyoshi Manase, a timid bookseller and amateur geologist who struggles to suppress a troubled conscience.



  • The Journey Ivan Morris (Translator) Paperback
    352 pages
    Allegorical novel about the lust for money against the new moral reality of post-war Japan.


  • No One's Perfect Gerry Harcourt (Translator) Paperback
    232 pages
    Ototake was born with no arms or legs, yet grew up in Japan living as normal and active a life as possible by dent of his own determination and the encouragement of his family and friends. In this first-person account, written for readers of all ages, Ototake recounts the day-to-day challenges of living without arms or legs.







  • Dream Messenger Paperback
    293 pages
    A mother's search for her missing son results in an erotic and entertaining tale of life in two cities in the world: New York and Tokyo.






  • Evening Clouds Paperback
    208 pages
    The author of Still Life and Other Stories presents this novel about a family that moves into an idyllic new home on a windswept hilltop in western Tokyo, but gets swept up in "a strange and evocative undercurrent, as the most minute details slowly resonate out through a universe that is changing and unforgiving."
  • Still Life and Other Stories Paperback
    264 pages


  • Dark Water Hardcover
    288 pages
    A collection of horror short stories.
  • Ring Paperback
    288 pages
  • Spiral Paperback
    288 pages



  • Outlet Paperback
    272 pages
    A young Japanese finance writer tries to uncover the truth behind her older brother's mysterious death in this bizarre and sometimes grisly novel.


  • Honeymoon to Nowhere Sadako Mizuguchi (Translator) Paperback
    288 pages
    Etsuko has fallen in love with a shy, studious lecturer at a university, but her parents object is to the rest of his family: his father was a war criminal; his deceased younger brother, a murderer. His only respectable relative is a research chemist who says he's too sick to come to the wedding. And then the groom is called away on the first night of the honeymoon by an urgent telephone call. His body is found the next morning ...
  • Informer Sadako Mizuguchi (Translator) Hardcover
    272 pages
    Segawa had a good job as a stock market trader, but the "private" hedge fund he operated suffered big losses and he was fired. He agrees to become an industrial spy, even when he discovers the target is his old schoolmate-who married Segawa's girlfriend. Ogino, the old friend, is murdered, and Segawa was the last person to visit him...
  • The Tattoo Murder Case Deborah Boehm (Translator) Hardcover
    224 pages (also available in
    First published in Japan in 1948, the book is "a macabre story hinging on the murder of a tattooed woman and the theft of her skin."



  • A Cat, a Man, and Two Women Paul McCarthy (Translator) Paperback
    A novella and two short stories.
  • Childhood Years: A Memoir Paul McCarthy (Translator) Paperback
    196 pages
  • Diary of a Mad Old Man Erroll McDonald (Editor) Paperback
    177 pages
  • In Praise of Shadows Edward G. Seidensticker (Translator) Paperback
  • The Makioka Sisters Paperback
  • Naomi Anthony H. Chambers (Translator) Paperback
    256 pages
  • The Reed Cutter and Captain Shigemoto's Mother: Two Novellas Anthony H. Chambers (Translator) Paperback
    192 pages
    In The Reed Cutter, the narrator meets a strange man who tells him a story of obsession. In Captain Shigemoto's Mother, a tenth-century Kyoto minister demands and receives his rival's wife during a drunken party.
  • The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi and Arrowroot Paperback
    224 pages
    In The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi, the author reimagines the exploits of a legendary samurai as a sadomasochistic dance between the hero and the wife of his enemy. Arrowroot, though set in the twentieth century, views an adult orphan’s search for his mother’s past through the translucent shoji screen of ancient literature and myth.
  • Seven Japanese Tales Howard Hibbett (Translator) Paperback
  • Some Prefer Nettles: A Novel Edward G. Seidensticker (Translator) Paperback
    202 pages
    Autobiographical novel, published in 1928-29 as a newspaper serial, which examines the conflict between traditional and modern culture.
  • Quicksand Howard Hibbitt (Translator) Paperback
    A young, well-born Osaka widow, Sonoko Kakiuchi, describes her husband's humiliation and the influence of a beautiful and totally young art student on their lives in a novel set in the 1920s.





  • The Signore: Shogun of the Warring States Hardcover
    197 pages
    To his 16th-century contemporaries, "the Signore"--the warlord Oda Nobunaga who reunified Japan after two centuries of civil war--was a brutal, merciless tyrant fond of mass slaughter. But to the Italian adventurer who serves as nameless narrator of Tsuji's historical novel, Nobunaga is introspective and acutely sensitive, a supreme rationalist destroyed by his will to power and by utter isolation from his fellows.




  • Child of Fortune Paperback
  • The Shooting Gallery: & Other Stories Paperback
    138 pages
    Eight stories focused on the struggles of women, including: an unwed mother introduces her children to their father, a woman confronts the "other woman," and a young single mother resents her children.





  • A Lost Paradise Juliet Winters Carpenter (Translator) Hardcover
    376 pages
    Bestselling love story that became a TV series and film.


  • Trash Sonya L. Johnson (Translator) Hardcover
    372 pages
    A new take on the traditional Japanese autobiographical novel that focuses on American urban life.


  • Strangers Paperback
    208 pages
    An urban ghost story.





  • Amrita Paperback
    352 pages
  • Asleep Paperback
    192 pages
    three short novellas set in nameless contemporary Japanese cities, each one narrated by a young Japanese woman who has been frozen into a temporary literal or psychic sleep as a result of trauma.
  • Goodbye Tsugumi Hardcover
    186 pages
    (Also available in paperback)
  • Hardboiled and Hard Luck Hardcover
    160 pages
    The narrator is on a solo journey that begins as a simple mountain trek and turns into an intense confrontation with otherworldly forces, including a ghost in a hotel and overwhelming memories of a lost lover and her terrible demise.
  • Kitchen Paperback
    College student Mikage Sakurai is orphaned by the death of her grandmother but rescued from loneliness and grief by Yuichi, a young flower shop delivery man.
  • Lizard Paperback
    Collection of short stories that explore themes of time, healing and fate--and how urban, sophisticated, independent young women and men come to terms with them. Yoshimoto may be better at short stories than novels.
  • N.P.: A Novel Paperback
    A celebrated Japanese writer has committed suicide, leaving behind a collection of stories written in English, N.P.. But it may never be published in Japan: each translator who takes up the 98th story chooses death, too. After her boyfriend commits suicide, Kazami is compelled to discover the truth behind the 98th story.


  • One Man's Justice Paperback
    288 pages
    A former Imperial Army officer on the run for his involvement in the death of an American POW.
  • On Parole Paperback
    256 pages
    "A vivid psychological portrait emerges of a man no longer able to express his own will."
  • Shipwrecks Paperback
    192 pages
    Living in a remote, desperately poor fishing village in medieval Japan, nine-year-old Isaku becomes the head of the family in his father's absence and, with the villagers, makes a living from luring merchant ships onto the rocky shoals, slaughtering their crews, and looting the cargo.



62 Sonnets and Definitions: Poems and Prose Poems (Asian Poetry in Translation. Japan, No. 14) by Tanikawa Shuntaro, et al Paperback

Anthology of Modern Japanese Poetry by Edith Shiffert (Translator), Yuki Sawa (Translator) Paperback
195 pages

Ariake: Poems of Love and Longing by the Women Courtiers of Ancient Japan by Liza Dalby Hardcover
80 pages

Autumn Wind Haiku: Selected Poems by Kobayashi Issa by Lewis MacKenzie Paperback
146 pages

Awesome Nightfall: The Life, Death and Poetry of Saigyo Paperback
192 pages

Beneath the Sleepless Tossing of the Planets: Selected Poems 1972-1989 (Asian Poetry in Translation. Japan, 17) by Janine Beichman, Makoto Ooka Paperback
(Also available in Hardcover.)

Cage of Fireflies: Modern Japanese Haiku by Lucien Stryk (Editor) Hardcover
128 pages

Chiyo-Ni: Woman Haiku Master by Patricia Donegan (Translator), Yoshie Ishibashi (Translator) Paperback
184 pages

Dew on the Grass: The Life and Poetry of Kobayashi Issa Hardcover
196 pages

Disappearance of the Butterfly (Asian Poetry in Translation. Japan, 16) by Takashi Tsujii, et al Hardcover
(Also available in Paperback.)

Essential Haiku Paperback
352 pages
Collection of three distinct masters of the haiku tradition: Matsuo Basho (the ascetic and seeker), Yosa Buson (the artist), and Kobayashi Issa (the humanist).

From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry by Hiroaki Sato (Photographer), Burton Watson (Translator) Paperback
652 pages

A Haiku Journey by Basho Matsuo Paperback

The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan Paperback
240 pages
Matters of the heart and spirit and the transient nature of time and existence are the dominant themes of this collection of love poems by two leading female literary figures of Japan's Heian era--Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu. The book includes an illuminating introduction and an appendix on Japanese poetry and the process of translation.

Japanese Death Poems: Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death by Yoel Hoffmann Paperback
366 pages

The Journal of Socho by H. MacK Horton Hardcover

Like Underground Water: Poetry of Mid-Twentieth Century Japan by Naoshi Koriyama, Edward Lueders Paperback
(Also available in Hardcover.)

The Lyric Journey: Poetic Painting in China and Japan (Edwin O. Reisebauer Lectures) by James Cahill Hardcover

Map of Days: Poems (Asian Poetry in Translation. Japan, 19) by Shuntaro Tanikawa, Harold Wright Paperback
(Also available in Hardcover.)

Masaoka Shiki: Selected Poems by Masaoka Shiki, Burton Watson (Translator), Shiki Masaoka Paperback
136 pages
Masaoka Shiki (18671902) is credited with modernizing Japans two traditional verse forms, haiku and tanka.

Midnight in the City of Clocks (Oxford Poets) by Tobias Hill Paperback

Modern Japanese Tanka: An Anthology by Makoto Ueda (Editor) Paperback
Tanka, a 31-syllable lyric, made up the great majority of Japanese poetry from the ninth to the nineteenth century and was the inspiration for haiku.

Moonstone Woman: Selected Poems of Tada Chimako (Asian Poetry in Translation, Japan, 11) by Ooka Makota Paperback

Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings by Matsuo Basho Paperback
224 pages

The New Poetry of Japan: The 70s and 80s (Asian Poetry in Translation: Japan, 15) by Thomas Fitzsimmons, Gozo Yoshimasu Paperback

On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho by Basho Matsuo, et al Hardcover

One Hundred Poems from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth Paperback
140 pages

The Poetry of Living Japan: An Anthology With an Introduction by Takamichi Ninomiya Hardcover

The Poetry of Zen Hardcover
160 pages
Collection of Zen poetry from China and Japan. More than an anthology, this is a little Zen primer with brief bios of all of the poets and insightful introductions that illuminate the collection in the context of Buddhist history and practice.

Responses Magnetic: Selected Poems (Asian Poetry in Translation. Japan, 18) by Hajime Kijima, et al Hardcover
(Also available in Paperback.)

Ritual Poetry and the Politics of Death in Early Japan by Gary L. Ebersole Hardcover
(Also available in Paperback.)

River of Stars: Selected Poems of Yosano Akiko Paperback
134 pages
First English edition of one of Japan's twentieth century stellar lights, Yosano Akiko (1878-1942) - the most well-known and controversial female writer of that country this century. In her lifetime, Akiko published 75 books, among them 20 volumes of poetry, along with a definitive modern Japanese translation of the classic, The Tale of Genji. A pioneering feminist, pacifist, and social reformer, her passions were intensely reflected in her literary work, reviving tanka - a form similar to the sonnet - to renewed lyrical essence, creating a unique style of true emotional directness.

Ryokan: Zen Monk-Poet of Japan (Translations from the Oriental Classics) by Ryokan, Burton Watson Paperback

Sabishi: Poems from Japan (Wick Poetry Chapbook Series) by David Hassler Paperback

The Singing Heart: An Anthology of Japanese Poems (1900-1960) Paperback
208 pages

Songs from a Bamboo Village: Selected Tanka from Takenosato Uta by Shiki Masaoka, Seishi Shinoda (Translator) Paperback
424 pages

The Spring of My Life: And Selected Haiku by Kobayashi Issa Paperback
An autobiographical sketch of linked prose and haiku. In addition to The Spring of My Life, the translator has included more than 160 of Issa's best haiku and an introduction providing essential information on Issa's life and valuable comments on translating (and reading) haiku.

A String Around Autumn = Aki O Tatamu Himo: Selected Poems, 1952-1980 (Asian Poetry in Translation. Japan, 3) by Ooka Makoto Paperback

Tomoshibi Light: Collected Poetry by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko by Akihito, et al Hardcover

Traditional Japanese Poetry: An Anthology by Steven D. Carter Paperback

Treelike: The Poetry of Kinoshita Yuji (Asian Poetry in Translation. Japan, 4) by Yuji Kinoshita, et al Paperback

Uncovering Heian Japan: An Archaeology of Sensation and Inscription (Asia-Pacific) by Thomas Lamarre Library Binding
232 pages

Waiting for the Wind: Thirty-Six Poets of Japan's Late Medieval Age (Translations from the Oriental Classics) by Steven D. Carter Hardcover
(Also available in Paperback.)

Water Ground Stone: The Ground of Japanese Poetry (Reflections, No 4) by Thomas Fitzsimmons Paperback

Women Poets of Japan by Ikuko Atsumi, Kenneth Rexroth Paperback

Written on Water: Five Hundred Poems from the Man'Yoshu by Takashi Kojima (Translator) Hardcover
Written over thirteen hundred years ago by a variety of authors, from aristocracy to commoners.

Zen Fool Ryokan by Misao Kodama, Hikosaku Yanagishima Paperback
150+ poems by Zen monk Ryokan, born in in 1757.

Criticism, Guides and Biography

Abe Kobo an Exploration of His Prose, Drama and Theatre by Timothy Iles Paperback
232 pages

The Blue-Eyed Tarokaja: A Donald Keene Anthology by Donald Keene, J. Thomas Rimer (Editor) Hardcover
290 pages
Collection of essays on Japanese culture and literature by an eminent literary scholar.

Breaking into Japanese Literature by Giles Murray Paperback
239 pages
Interesting "learn how to read" book. Seven graded stories, including Natsume Soseki's "Ten Nights of Dreams," Akutagawa Ryunosuke's "The Nose", and the classic "Rashomon". The original Japanese story is in large print, followed by an English translation and a dictionary.

Bodies of Evidence: Women, Society, and Detective Fiction in 1990s Japan by Amanda C. Seaman Hardcover
264 pages
A scholarly look at the recent boom in Japanese women's detective fiction.

Complicit Fictions: The Subject in the Modern Japanese Prose Narrative by James A. Fujii Paperback
287 pages
James Fujii's Complicit Fictions is the first genuinely convincing study of the crucial relationship between the production of literature and the experience of history in the making of modern Japan.

Dawn to the West: Japanese Literature in the Modern Era by Donald Keene Paperback
1328 pages
History of modern Japanese literature, complete with an appendix, glossary, index, a selected list of translations into English.

The Dilemma of the Modern in Japanese Fiction by Dennis C. Washburn Hardcover
An examination of "modernity in Japanese literary culture as a continuing historical dynamic rather than merely the product of the intense Westernization of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The author links the modern in Japan to a sense of cultural discontinuity that may be located in fictional narratives before the encounter of Japan with the West, and he argues that modernity in Meiji Japan can be understood in terms of cultural conflict - not only Japan versus the West but also Japan's present versus its past."

The Floating World in Japanese Fiction by Howard Hibbett Paperback
232 pages

From Book to Screen: Modern Japanese Literature in Films by Keiko I. McDonald Paperback

Gender Is Fair Game: (Re)Thinking The(Fe)Male in the Works of Oba Minako by Michiko Niikuni Wilson Hardcover
188 pages

Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words by Jay Rubin Paperback
288 pages
Combination of biography and critical analysis of Murakami's life and work.

History of Japanese Literature: The First Thousand Years by Shuichi Kato, David Chibbett (Translator) Paperback
352 pages

History of Japanese Literature: The Modern Years by Shuichi Kato, Don Sanderson (Translator) Paperback

History of Japanese Literature: The Years of Isolation by Shuichi Kato, Don Sanderson (Translator) Paperback

Inventing the Classics: Modernity, National Identity, and Japanese Literature by Haruo Shirane (Editor), Tomi Suzuki (Editor) Paperback
385 pages

Japanese Women Fiction Writers: Their Culture and Society, 1890s to 1990s by Carol Fairbanks Hardcover
647 pages

The Mother of Dreams and Other Short Stories: Portrayals of Women in Modern Japanese Fiction by Makoto Ueda Hardcover

Oe and Beyond: Fiction in Contemporary Japan by Stephen Snyder (Editor), J. Philip Gabriel (Editor) Paperback
392 pages

Origins of Modern Japanese Literature (Post-Contemporary Interventions) by Karatani Kojin, Brett De Bary (Translator) Paperback
219 pages
Sweeping reinterpretation of 19th- and 20th-century Japanese literature.

Read Real Japanese: All You Need to Enjoy Eight Contemporary Writers Janet Ashby Paperback
176 pages

Reader's Guide to Japanese Literature by J. Thomas Rimer Paperback
240 pages

Recontextualizing Texts: Narrative Performance in Modern Japanese Fiction by Atsuko Sakaki Hardcover
275 pages
Application of speech act theory to: Natsume Soseki's Kokoro and Three Cornered World , Ibuse Masuji's Black Rain; Mori Ogai's Wild Geese, and Tanizaki Jun'ichiro's Quicksand.

The Rhetoric of Confession: Shishosetsu in Early Twentieth-Century Japanese Fiction by Edward Fowler Paperback

Rituals of Self-Revelation: Shishosetsu As Literary Genre and Socio-Cultural Phenomenon by Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit Hardcover
373 pages

The Riverside Counselor's Stories: Vernacular Fiction of Late Heian Japan by Robert Backus Hardcover

The Secret Window: Ideal Worlds in Tanizaki's Fiction by Anthony Hood Chambers Hardcover
161 pages

Seeds in the Heart: Japanese Literature from Earliest Times to the Late Sixteenth Century by Donald Keene Paperback
1265 pages

Studies in the Comic Spirit in Modern Japanese Fiction by Joel R. Cohn Hardcover
250 pages
The author analyzes works by Ibuse Masuji (1898-1993), Dazai Osamu (1909-1948), and Inoue Hisashi (1934- ).

Topographies of Japanese Modernism by Seiji M. Lippit Paperback
288 pages

Daughters of the Moon: Wish, Will, and Social Constraint in Fiction by Modern Japanese Women by Victoria V. Vernon Paperback

The Woman's Hand: Gender and Theory in Japanese Women's Writing by Paul Gordon Schalow (Editor), Janet A. Walker (Editor) Paperback
511 pages

World Within Walls: Japanese Literature of the Pre-Modern Era, 1600-1867 by Donald Keene Paperback
606 pages

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