The Greatest Books Written by Japanese Authors

  1. 1 . The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

    The Tale of Genji is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, around the peak of the Heian Period. It is sometimes...

  2. 2 . The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (ねじまき鳥クロニクル, Nejimaki-dori Kuronikuru?) is a novel by Haruki Murakami. The first published translation was by Alfred Birnbaum. The American translation and its British ad...

  3. 3 . The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima

    Mizoguchi has been mentally troubled since he witnessed his mother's infidelity in the presence of his dying father. Mizoguchi feels utterly abandoned and alone until he becomes a pdest at Kinka-ku...

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  4. 4 . Some Prefer Nettles by Junichiro Tanizaki

    The conflict between traditional and modern Japanese culture is at the heart of this novel. Kaname is a smug, modern man living in a modern marriage. He gamely allows his wife to become the lover o...

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  5. 5 . The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki

    Tanizaki's masterpiece is the story of four sisters, and the declining fortunes of a traditional Japanese family. It is a loving and nostalgic recreation of the sumptuous, intricate upper-class lif...

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  6. 6 . Kokoro by Sōseki Natsume

    Haunted by tragic secrets, Sensei slowly opens up to his young disciple, confessing indiscretions from his own student days that have left him reeling with guilt.

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  7. 7 . Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

    Ryünosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) is one of Japan’s foremost stylists - a modernist master whose short stories are marked by highly original imagery, cynicism, beauty and wild humour. ‘Rashömon’ and ...

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  8. 8 . Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata

    Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata’s Thousand Cranes is a luminous story of desire, regret, and the almost sensual nostalgia that binds the living to the dead. While attending a traditional tea c...

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  9. 9 . 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

    1Q84 (いちきゅうはちよん Ichi-Kyū-Hachi-Yon) is a dystopian novel written by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, first published in three volumes in Japan in 2009–10. It covers a fictionalized year of 1984 in ...

  10. 10 . Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

    This stunning and elegiac novel by the author of the internationally acclaimed Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has sold over 4 million copies in Japan and is now available to American audiences for the firs...

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  11. 11 . The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Matsuo Bashō

    In his perfectly crafted haiku poems, Basho described the natural world with great simplicity and delicacy of feeling. When he composed The Narrow Road to the Deep North he was a serious student of...

  12. 12 . Forbidden Colours by Yukio Mishima

    Irresistible to women, the beautiful, young Yuichi embarks on a loveless marriage while he enters a homosexual underworld during postwar Japan.

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  13. 13 . The Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata

    The Sound of the Mountain (Yama no Oto) is a novel by Japanese writer Yasunari Kawabata, serialized between 1949 and 1954. Its translation into English by Edward G. Seidensticker was first publishe...

  14. 14 . Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

    Kitchen (キッチン)is a novel written by Japanese author Banana Yoshimoto (吉本ばなな)in 1988 and translated into English in 1993 by Megan Backus. Although one may notice a certain Western influence in Yosh...

  15. 15 . Silence by Shusaku Endo

    Silence (沈黙, Chinmoku) is a 1966 novel of historical fiction by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō, published in English by Peter Owen Publishers. It is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th cen...

  16. 16 . The Twilight Years by Sawako Ariyoshi

    The Twilight Years, a 1972 novel by Sawako Ariyoshi, sold over a million copies in her home country and was praised by the Japan-studies community in foreign countries as a singular novel, "the clo...

  17. 17 . Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburō Ōe

    Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids (芽むしり仔撃ち Memushiri kouchi; also known as "Pluck the Bud and Destroy the Offspring") is a 1958 novel by Japanese author Kenzaburō Ōe. It is Ōe's first novel, written whe...

  18. 18 . Almost Transparent Blue by Ryū Murakami

    Almost Transparent Blue (限りなく透明に近いブルー, Kagirinaku Tōmei ni Chikai Burū, "Almost Infinitely Transparent Blue") is a 1976 novel, written by Japanese author Ryū Murakami, that features a portrait of n...

  19. 19 . Crossfire by Miyuki Miyabe

    Krimi. Imagine possessing the paranormal ability to set someone on fire. Toast. Just by thinking about it. Junko Aoki has those pyrokinetic powers, and she's using them to leave a trail of smolderi...

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  20. 20 . Deep River by Shūsaku Endō

    Deep River (深い河, Fukai kawa) is a novel by Shusaku Endo published in 1993. When he died in 1996, only two novels were chosen to be placed inside his coffin. Deep River was one of them.

  21. 21 . The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima

    The Sound of Waves (潮騒, Shiosai) is a 1954 novel by the Japanese author Yukio Mishima. It is a coming-of-age story of the protagonist Shinji and his romance with Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of t...

  22. 22 . The Sea of Fertility by Yukio Mishima

    The Sea of Fertility (豊饒の海, Hōjō no Umi) is a tetralogy of novels written by the Japanese author Yukio Mishima. The four novels are Spring Snow (1969), Runaway Horses (1969), The Temple of Dawn (19...

  23. 23 . Beauty and Sadness by Yasunari Kawabata

    The successful writer Oki has reached middle age and is filled with regrets. He returns to Kyoto to find Otoko, a young woman with whom he had a terrible affair many years before, and discovers tha...

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  24. 24 . Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima

    When a Japanese youth discovers he has homosexual tendencies he hides himself behind conventional behavior

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  25. 25 . A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami

    A Wild Sheep Chase (羊をめぐる冒険, Hitsuji o meguru bōken?) is a novel published in 1982 by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. It is the sequel to Pinball, 1973, and is the second book in Murakami's "Trilo...

  26. 26 . The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories by Yasunari Kawabata

    One of the most influential figures in modern Japanese fiction, Yasunari Kawabata is treasured for the intensity of his perception and the compressed elegance of his style. This new collection incl...

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  27. 27 . Somersault by Kenzaburō Ōe

    Ten years after recanting their teachings and abandoning their zealous and violent congregation, two men known only as the Patron and Guide of Humankind seek to overcome a radical faction while lea...

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  28. 28 . Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

    Japan's most widely-read and controversial writer, author of A Wild Sheep Chase, hurtles into the consciousness of the West with this narrative about a split-brained data processor, a deranged scie...

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  29. 29 . The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

    The Buddha in the Attic is a 2011 novel written by American author Julie Otsuka about Japanese picture brides immigrating to America in the early 1900s.

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  30. 30 . Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata

    Snow Country is the first full-length novel by the Nobel Prize-winning Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata. The novel established Kawabata as one of Japan's foremost authors and became an instant cla...

  31. 31 . The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe

    The Woman in the Dunes, by celebrated writer and thinker Kobo Abe, combines the essence of myth, suspense and the existential novel. After missing the last bus home following a day trip to the seas...

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  32. 32 . Poems of Matsuo Bashō by Matsuo Bashō

    Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉?, 1644 – 1694), born 松尾 金作, then Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa (松尾 忠右衛門 宗房?),[2][3] was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for ...

  33. 33 . South of the Border, West of the Sun: A Novel by Haruki Murakami

    Following the massive complexity of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle--Haruki Murakami's best-selling, award-winning novel--comes this deceptively simple love story, a contemporary rendering of the romanc...

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  34. 34 . The Hunting Gun by Yasushi Inoue

    A tragedy in three letters: THE masterpiece of one of Japan's greatest writers The Hunting Gun follows the consequences of a tragic love affair. Told from the viewpoints of three different women, t...

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  35. 35 . A Personal Matter by Kenzaburō Ōe

    Kenzaburo Oe, the winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature, is internationally acclaimed as one of the most important and influential post-World War II writers, known for his powerful accounts...

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  36. 36 . Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami

    Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is a collection of short stories by Japanese author Haruki Murakami.

  37. 37 . Hagoromo: A Celestial Robe by Japan

    Hagoromo (羽衣 The Feather Mantle?) is among the most-performed Japanese Noh plays. It is an example of the traditional swan maiden motif. - Wikipedia

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  38. 38 . The Box Man by Kobo Abé

    Kōbō Abe (安部公房, Abe Kōbō?), pseudonym of Kimifusa Abe (Abe Kimifusa, March 7, 1924 – January 22, 1993) was a Japanese writer, playwright, photographer and inventor.