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Ariyoshi, Sawako

The Doctor’s Wife – Sawako Ariyoshi

  My first book of the year is another book club read with the Japanese Lit GR group. Ariyoshi seems to be one of the favourites among the members and the group has read another of her book – The River Ki, which I missed, so this is my first Ariyoshi. First published in 1966, […]

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Tanizaki, Junichiro

The Makioka Sisters – Junichiro Tanizaki

My last book of 2017 is The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (if you want to be pedantic, it’s Jun’ichirou – which implies him being the first born son, but I couldn’t find much information on this). At 530 pages it’s no mean feat for me, and actually took me 2 months to finish. But […]

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Mishima, Yukio

The Sound of Waves – Yukio Mishima

The Sound of Waves is the first of Yukio Mishima’s book to be translated into English, and I can see why. For the fans expecting the darker, more brooding version of latter Mishima might be disappointed. This is Mishima when he was not yet cynical, the world was still a nice and simple place, and […]

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Ibuse, Masuji

Black Rain – Masuji Ibuse

Black Rain tells the aftermath of the infamous atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Personally I never read book that describes what happens to the people on ground zero – not to this extend anyway. For some reason in my mind it was total annihilation, but of course it wasn’t as clean as that. People in the […]

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Mishima, Yukio

The Temple of Dawn – Yukio Mishima

The Temple of Dawn is book #3 in The Sea of Fertility tetralogy. My review for book #1 Spring Snow here and book #2 Runaway Horses here. If you have not read the first two, warning there will be possible spoilers. So my relationship with Mishima’s epic has been long and slow going, as I […]

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Inoue, Yasushi

The Hunting Gun – Yasushi Inoue

This is the first book I finished after a couple of months of reading slump. And it was just the right book. It’s short and compelling, and the Pushkin edition is just beautiful to hold and read. It’s not a perfect book, and for me the ending peters out a little. But there are a […]

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Akutagawa, Ryūnosuke

Hell Screen and Rashomon – Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

  A tiny book that packs a punch! This is my first time reading Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, as it was selected for my GR book club. The Penguin grey copy above is actually out of print now, so I almost gave up getting a copy. But I later found the Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories  – […]

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Okakura, Kakuzō

The Book of Tea – Kakuzō Okakura

  The Book of Tea was first published in 1906 – surprisingly, in English! I only realised this after trying to find the translator, or which translation was best, and a book group friend was looking for “the original”, hah! Here I thought Kazuo Ishiguro was the only Japanese writing in English (I’m sure not […]

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Mishima, Yukio

Runaway Horses – Yukio Mishima

Runaway Horses is the second book in Yukio Mishima’s Sea of Fertility tetralogy. You do have to read the books in order, so there will be spoilers for the first book below (My review of Spring Snow). The book starts with Honda – Kiyoaki’s friend in the first book, who is now a middle age […]

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Tezuka, Osamu

Buddha by Osamu Tezuka (Vol 1: Kapilavastu)

Buddha is an 8-volume manga by Osamu Tezuka. Tezuka is best known as the creator of Astro Boy, which I never watched or read, but I knew Tezuka has also produced some more grownup manga, like Buddha. This is my first time reading his work, as I noticed the big volumes readily available at the […]