7 Japanese Authors I Love

Hullo, World! Another beautiful day!

Albeit, I am confined to bed. I’ve had a fever of over 38 degrees Celsius since Sunday, and had to go in for a PCR test. (Good old PCR machine…I really wanted to see a medical size one!)

Thankfully, I did not have COVID 19. It was just a flu. Well, just doesn’t really cover it, but still.

Anyhow. On a more brighter note, the sun is shining again, and my body aches less. Today I’ll be sharing with you 7 Japanese Authors I Love since it was Asian heritage month. Or something like that, and the month is ending. *tries not to stare at the pile of TBR*

1: Matsutani Miyoko_松谷みよ子

松谷みよ子—Matsutani Miyoko is probably the number one Japanese author I love. I’ve been reading her novels from grade one, and picture books from a younger age. Each story is crafted with the sensitivity of childhood imagination infused with a gut-wrenching truth that is revealed quietly. Almost all her stories have something in them that makes me cry 😭

2: Dazai Osamu_太宰治

This is the famous author of 『人間失格』—No Longer Human. I’ve also been a fan of Dazai since about grade four or five, and recently re-established my love for his works after falling headfirst into the 文豪ストレイドッグス—Bungo Stray Dogs fandom. (It’s a manga series about classical authors who have superpowers based off their books, which is like the coolest thing EVER!!!) I love his pessimistic proper narrative and the visual sounds he uses. Some of his works are kind of inappropriate, but you should definitely read his short stories, and novels if you’re old enough.

3: Sumino Yoru_住野よる

Sumino Yoru is a recent love of mine. She’s the author of the famous book-turned-movie-turned-manga-turned-anime, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas. But personally, I like the book I Was Having The Same Dream Again—また同じ夢を見ていた—which I read last summer. Her book is so sparkly and yet so true. I think that’s one of the things I like in books: Sparkly and Honest.

4: Nakumura Fuminori_中村文則

This is another author who blew my mind. Since I moved to Canada, I don’t get to read many Japanese books (esp. recent authors). I might be behind, but I really love Nakamura’s writing style. It flows freely and doesn’t distract from the dark themes he explores, but lends to it whole heartedly. I must say that his books do tend to be dark, but there is a sliver of hope he ties each story off with that is quite satisfying.

5: Murakami Haruki_村上春樹

And here we come to the legendary Haruki Murakami. Honestly, his works are definitely R18, so I haven’t had the chance to read many of his works (Read the Norwegian Forest, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, started IQ84.) He has a very distinct writing style that feels homely and out of worldly at the same time.

6: Tezuka Osamu_手塚治虫

Okay, technically speaking, Tezuka Osamu is not a writer, but THE manga artist—the Father of Manga—so I just had to include him. I mean, he’s probably the only person who got to publish his manga on a literary magazine, in 文藝春秋—bungei shun shu! Plus, I used to live in Takadano-baba which is like his character’s home town. The train departing chime was Astro Boy’s theme song.

7: Yanagi Kouji_柳広司

If you didn’t know, I am crazy about WWII (since age six) and spies (since age twelve). (I have this thick pile of research I did just for fun and a comprehensive reading list.) Put the two together, I’ll hyperventilate.

Well, Yanagi Kouji did just that—he combined WWII and spies, plus made them Japanese. (I have nothing against British spies. In fact, I love all things English. I just like seeing diversity, you know?) Even though he write mainly mysteries and action-thrillers, he does so with grace and an underlying understanding of human value. It’s really brilliant, and I could go on but I will stop here 😂

I think that’s it for now, although there must be bunch of Japanese authors I love that I’m forgetting.

What did you think? Do you recognise any of the authors I’ve mentioned? Or, are you interested in reading some of their translated works? Let me know in the comments below; I’d be thrilled to chat with you about it!

4 thoughts on “7 Japanese Authors I Love

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