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!

My Thoughts While Reading “A Winter’s Promise”

Happy Wednesday!

So, as you can probably tell, I’ve decided to update my blog on Wednesdays too! *excited and apprehensive at the same time*

Without further ado, let me introduce you to the magical world of…

A Winter’s Promise (The Mirror Visitor Book 1)

Find it on:

The Synopsis:

Long ago, following a cataclysm called “The Rupture,” the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands. Known now as Arks, each has developed in distinct ways; each seems to possess its own unique relationship to time, such that nowadays vastly different worlds exist, together but apart. And over all of the Arks the spirit of an omnipotent ancestor abides.

Ophelia lives on Anima, an ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, the young girl hides the ability to read and communicate with the souls of objects, and the power to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the Ark of Anima is disrupted when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the powerful Dragon clan. Ophelia must leave her family and follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity? Though she doesn’t know it yet, she has become a pawn in a deadly plot.

My Thoughts:

  1. Fragment—A prologue-ish commentary? Already thrilling!
  2. The Promise: The Archivist—what’s Anima? What’s the ark? I already love the Family Archives building! It’s so alive…I have the Howl’s Moving Castle vibe. And Ophelia and her great-uncle are so old-soul I feel like kindred spirits already.
  3. The Rupture—I wonder what kind of reading Ophelia does? Her expertise in historical objects is fascinating. The Poles can’t be that bad, can it? And the Book. And the Rupture. Must be key…
  4. The Journal—Ophelia and her siblings, and her cousins. I sort of feel you about your grandmother-style dress, Ophelia! Old-fashion is great no matter what they tell you!
  5. The Bear—I’m laughing so much about Mr Thorn! He’s just as bad as Ophelia and clearly doesn’t like the idea of this arranged marriage. For someone in the court, Mr Thorn is sort of portrayed as a tough/rough person. So interested in finding out where things are going!
  6. The Observatory—The mystery of who Artemis is solved! I like Mr Thorn and Doyenne (totally miscalculated this person). Plus the entire ark structure is much clearer now. 
  7. The Kitchen—Mr Thorn v. Ophelia! Plus the scarf. Can we just stop and talk about the adorable qualities of the scarf? Plus great uncle. He’s one of the best parts of this story
  8. The Medal—Anima—the ark—actually reminds me of Castle in the Sky. Which is like the best thing ever. Finally, we see Ophelia reading!
  9. The Warning—the herbal tea with Thorn and Ophelia! What is this about the court I hear? All the ice and snow is so typically Canadian. 
  10. The Gamekeeper—Nordic vibes! Ophelia and her aunt is freezing. I’m starting to feel chilled as well. I do love Thorn and his Stoney ways! He’s a little better in his home ark, I think. 
  11. The Citaceleste—it’s so strange and fantastical. There must be something going on with Thorn’s attitude, though! The journal offers some insight 
  12. The Dragon—Now we meet Thorn’s families. So that’s why things were the way it was. Curiouser and curiouser. Plus, it feels more like Russian court than Nordic now. Or maybe a cross of it?
  13. The Bedroom—Thorn’s occupation nearly unseated me from my chair! Plus the manner of revelation! There has to be something going on. 
  14. The Getaway—Aunt Rosaline is quite an interesting character. The contrast to Berenilde is also notable. Ophelia takes action. It’s funny how quiet and adventurous she is under her glasses. 
  15. The Garden—The Ambassador, and the Mirage. So that’s what an illusion is. Quite a place it’s turning out to! So glad Ophelia isn’t some slow-witted girl, otherwise, things would be really terrible. 
  16. The Sister—Ophelia is certainly going to be in trouble…Freya sounds intense. This is certainly going downhill faster than I thought. 
  17. The Claws—I am getting nauseous of the manor. Berenilde is quite a character! The Dragons are Slytherins with no doubt. Thorn back is the best thing that has happened!
  18. The Ear—I feel sorry for Berenilde. No, I actually take it back. What’s the Ambassador doing here anyway? Oh, what an unexpected turn of events. But I guess sooner or later it had to happen…
  19. Mime—Aww. I knew Thorn cared for his family inside his hard exterior! Ophelia is really in a bit of toast. Wait, this is such an excellent idea! Berenilde is quite sly in a good way, sometimes.

20. At Clairdelune: The Key—I love these lifts! Simply wonderful contraptions. We have the girl in boy’s clothing trend! Must say I find it sort of fun. Clairdelune is already quite sinister in its dazzling beauty. 

21. Fox—Another fascinating character! I don’t know if I like the pace, though. It’s kind of funny. Wait, rooms can be erased? That’s equally cool and creepy. So that’s why servants are tipped by sandglasses! 

22. The Child—Ophelia takes so long to realise other people’s feelings! The party sounds voluptuous. Wait, this is the Knight? I find the party offensive. Ophelia’s constantly changing emotions under her silence are quite interesting. The Knight is sort of frightening. Okay, now I do feel sorry for Berenilde.

23. The Library—I sort of like Thorn’s grandmother, even if she’s eccentric. Underneath all the glamour, everyone is really terrified. Hildegarde…? I like Ophelia’s quickness of mind and sensibleness. Why is Gail on Ophelia? It would be terrible if she knew! Yes, I feel overfed with all this glitter too, Ophelia. Ooh, the Book is finally mentioned again. Another narrow escape!

24. The Visit—The head Butler is so unbearable. At least he’s not prominent. And poor Ophelia! The sisters are rather silly. Thorn!!! Missed him so much. 

25. The Treasury—Thorn wants to talk to Ophelia! Compass Rose, and interesting structure. So the letters weren’t sent. A brief reading into Thorn’s mind…I knew it! He’s such an adorable muffin underneath the marble exterior. The twinning. Of course, that had to be the reason! Why doesn’t he have a right, Ophelia!? (I’m silently screaming right now. It took long enough!!)

26. The Orange—An angry uncomfortable Ophelia is cute. Fox is sort of nice. Gail definitely knows something. The funeral is a different change. We finally meet Mother Hildegarde, the Architect! No, that can’t be true! I am shook. 

27. The Dungeons—Ophelia is really doomed. I really hate the head butler. He is disgusting. Claridelune is a crazy place. I would lose my mind if I was in Ophelia’s shoes! So glad Fox is there. 

28. The Nihilist—Thank heavens that aunt Rosaline is here. So Gail did know! I really don’t like Farouk. I feel for Ophelia…finally there are some people who cares for her. 

29. The Trust—Ophelia thinks too much and feels too little. Or maybe she has delayed reaction. Well, typical Ravenpuff. I am shook again. My heart won’t hold till the end of this book! Thorn is so unpredictable! And yet he’s so adorable. If Ophelia doesn’t do anything soon, I might start getting upset…At least they’re more honest with each other. 

30. The Threat—Gosh, my heart skipped a beat as soon as I turned the page. I knew the Knight was terrifying, but until now I didn’t know the extent. Things are really not the way it seems. I am shook again. I think I’ll be more shook later on. The pace is starting to pick up. I like the Fox a lot, so I hope I am not disappointed. Thorn makes me smile 🙂 I was sincerely hoping that none of the Dragons would come out…at this timing. “Charming family…isn’t it?”

31. The Opera—Ophelia alert is the only saving grace. Red lights flashing. I know something terrible is going to happen soon. Farouk is quite terrible. I loathe him. (One cannot say that enough times.) Berenilde is quite a figure. Ophelia! Is it really impossible? What’s happening to Aunt Rosaline? I’m quite concerned. 

32. The stations—now I’m really worried. The Dragons are one of the nastiest family here that I’ve met! Can Thorn and Ophelia not work it out? I’m crying now. This is super sad. Why are they too honest with each other? 

33. The Illusions—Aunt Rosaline and Aunt Berenilde! Two of the most opposite on close terms. Archibald and his honesty and his character—especially about his sisters—are interesting. The Book must be key… Mother Hildegarde is such a character! I like her bluntness. I knew it! Please let Aunt Rosaline be alright…I feel as though stabbed by a knife! I can hardly believe it. Now I’m really crying in earnest. This is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. 

34. The Maid—Poor Ophelia! You can do it, don’t give in. The Knight is a real pain. I am so glad of Fox. Aww. I knew Gail had something! 

35. The Dice—Dear Gail! She is a dear. Ravendor, or Griffynclaw. This place really is rotten to the core. Thorn’s coat…Farouk is too dangerous. But then again, everything is. Aunt Rosaline! I don’t know who’s happier: me or Ophelia. Thorn! And another shock!

36. The Angel—This is all a very delicate situation. I’d never imagined it would come down to this. It’s always been Thorn. And the Knight. Gives me shivers every time I think of him. The turn of conversation is interesting. I’m realising that the book must continue on, and usually that’s upsetting (esp. with everything still going on), but I should be lying to say I’m not invested. I really must find out how this all ends! 

37. The Mirror Visitor—The scarf! I so missed it! Can’t they really work it out? I would be so devastated if they didn’t. And Ophelia. She would forever be that frank person, I hope with all my heart. 

38. Fragment, postscript—Well, a short afterthought doesn’t change much. It does give one a formidable impression.

My Review

  • First of all, can I say how much I loved the MC and Thorn? Like, I know it’s an arranged marriage and things are really precarious throughout the entire story, but Ophelia with her glasses and her Scarf (I do so love the Scarf!!!), as well as Thorn and his exceeding tallness and his unpopularity, is simply satisfying. 
  • I wasn’t too much of a fan of having to go through all the court drama since I wasn’t expecting it. Life at the Citaceleste is so stressful. It was hard reading about Berenilde going through all the hassle for Farouk, who I hated. Plus, some of the characters are really trying, as in very annoying you want to smash them. 
  • I love the world of Arks! The worldbuilding alone is enough of a reason to read this book. I have to tell you, though, that this is a quartet, which means there’s three other books after this one (two of which is not translated yet), and the story doesn’t quite wrap up at the end of each book, so it might be a long wait? But I wouldn’t mind it since it’s one of those books I will put on my “Excellent Books to Read” shelf.

What did you think? Are you compelled enough to read “A Winter’s Promise”? Does it sound like your cup of tea…or not? Let me know in the comments below!