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!

Elijacomb Alexei Fleur the Seventeenth

The Go-To Stats:

Status: Draft 1.0

Word Count: 20K/Aiming for 50K

Genre: Soft Sci-fi

Audience: Middlegrade

Feat: Violist + Children’s Organisation + Science Experiments

Elijacomb Pinterest Board

The thing is, I’m not entirely sure how the story will work out. Yet. For now, I’ll share the rough character sketches I came up with.

Definition:

Elijacomb Alexei Fleur the seventeenth: Is a violist living in Takadanobaba. He is precisely eleven and three months old. He homeschools in a very typical old Japanese house that creaks and freezes over in winter, and he has a twin brother named Jacov that no one can see except for the friendly neighbour granny Yoshiko-san. He is wearing a thin-framed, rectangular silver glasses that make him look like a cold and calculating scientist, but he is not. He has silver blond hair that makes him look funny. 

He is the finder of Imaginogen, a lost element. From this finding, he is invited into the Children’s  Union of Teracelestial Expedition (CUTE). 

Ichigo Sanada: Is a mathematician living in Toyama Icchoume. She is exactly eleven and three months old, sharing the same birthdate as Elijacomb. She goes to a prestigious Japanese all-girls school that she hates from her heart, but her mother takes none of that. As an act of rebellion, she one day dyed her hair sparkling sky-blue with the help of her best friend, Alice. She is usually seen wearing her hair in knee-length twin tail, crisp peter pan blouse, baby pink skirt and black stockings, with a beige lab coat thrown over no matter what the weather is. 

She solved the lost equation of the heart-intellect age index that was proven to be faulty when she was four, making her the youngest member of CUTE.

Sir Yamato: Is the thirteenth Captain of CUTE. Despite having an unlucky number, he calls himself the luckiest person alive on earth, proving this fact by all the odds he had defied for the past three years. He is fifteen (or turning sixteen in three weeks to be exact), but his heart-intellect age index is still in the 300s, placing him well between the standards of “Child” in CUTE. He wears a dimpled smile and dresses like Black Jack, the unlicensed doctor he believes is still alive somewhere in the city of Tokyo. He also believes that Elijacomb is incarnate of Mozart, despite the fact Elijacomb is allergic to cats.  

Setting his absurd personal details and beliefs aside, he is an accomplished World Peace Mission Ambassador, also holding similar positions since he was ten. He jokes that this Advocate role started with being class president when he was nine, and still goes to a normal public school.  

Silvia: Is the Chief Secretary of CUTE who has been working for Sir Yamato for the past two years. She has held high positions in CUTE, to begin with when she entred the aforesaid organization at age seven. She is twelve and half-years old, with a somewhat high H-IA index of 500s, and fears she may end up in the 600s which places you in young adult soon enough. She is extremely attractive with platinum blond hair tied in intricate braids, and fashionable business attire. Her brother, Josh, was the tenth Captain of CUTE.

She was accepted due to her unusual skills in organization and her book based on it at age seven: The Art of Organization for Children, written with the help of her brother which became a best seller. 

CUTE (Children’s  Union of Teracelestial Expedition): Is a worldwide organization that was founded thirty-nine years ago. Its goal is to promote childhood that was becoming increasingly lost in the modern era. Some of its core values are attested in The Way of Childhood, or Kodomo-dou, which was written by the founding siblings, Frankie and Fredrika Fontebilleski. From the start, CUTE was highlighted as the top 10 Children’s Entrepreneurship list by Times, and now it is a global phenomenon and has received multiple awards including the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as being featured in the United Nations.

Elektriem

The Go-To Stats:

Status: Outlining, Brainstorming

Word Count: (38K)/Aiming for 100K

Genre: Psychological Sci-fi

Audience: Young Adult

Feat: Libraries + Coffee Boys + Mental Illness

Elektriem Pinterest Board

Story

Under Construction and Revision

Character Collages

I actually couldn’t find the exact likeness, but this’ll do…
Don’t ask me why there’s a railroad track. I just like the idea.
The arsonist!
The ship is his fiancée, Lucille Rosseau the Third.
He’s the mentor who swears a lot, drinks a lot, and smokes a lot. Just saying.
In this case, professor is synonymous with investigator. And he gets lost easily.
His motto is to be the most antisocial person ever.
The Asian Tech Whiz

I’ll try to make sense of this soon…