10 Answers

  1. Try reading Vsevolod Ovchinnikov's “Sakura Branch”. This is nonfiction, not a work of fiction. It may not be very modern, but the mentality of the Japanese helps to understand. It is not for nothing that the author added the subtitle “A story about what kind of people the Japanese are” to the book, as well as the sections of the book called “Their tastes”, “Their morals”, “Their life, their work”, “Their thoughts”. This is an attempt to show and explain a country through its people.

  2. Haruki Murakami “South of the Border, West of the sun”, “My Favorite Sputnik”, “Norwegian Forest”, “1Q84″; Yukio Mishima ” Golden Temple “;

    That's probably all.Now the choice is yours.

  3. When I hear about Japanese writers, of course, the famous writer Haruki Murakami immediately comes to mind.

    Murakami continues the tradition of Japanese literature and its founders like Natsume Soseki and Ryunosuke Akutagawa. However, with the help of the Nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabata, he gained a reputation as a”European of Japanese literature”. Indeed, Japanese culture and traditions do not play the same role in his books as in the works of the same Kawabata, Yukio Mishima or Kobo Abe.

    Murakami's books are mostly set in modern Japan. Its heroes are people of the era of globalization and mass culture. If you don't take Japanese names and titles into account, the events of Murakami's novels could take place anywhere. The main characteristic of his artistic universe is cosmopolitanism. This is largely why his books are so popular all over the world.

    Very often, Murakami's books describe completely ordinary people with whom extraordinary things happen. According to the writer himself, such a story (ordinary people in unusual circumstances) is his favorite.

  4. I will add, to the previously written, the book of the famous Soviet orientalist Nikolai T. Fedorenko “Japanese records.” (Moscow “Soviet Writer”, 1974). This book, I think, is more interesting than” Sakura Branch. ” by Vs. Ovchinnikov. Vividly described scenes from the life of fishermen, pearl fishermen, traditions, customs, as well as many pages devoted to Japanese literature, art, religion. The advantage is also a sufficient number of illustrations. After reading the book, it seems that he himself made a trip to the mysterious, unusual country of Japan.

  5. Along with the fashionable, modern writers who are often mentioned, I would like to introduce Marina Moskvin “Headboard made of grass”.It is always interesting to read about another country when it is written by your compatriot , and even fascinating, with humor: Japan through the eyes of Russian travelers. Also, the novel by Yamamoto Shugoro “Red Beard.”, his own stories, translated by B. Raskin.I liked these works, and I hope that you will also enjoy reading them.

  6. If you love detective stories, then you should definitely pay attention to “Semi-recognition ” by Hideo Yokoyama – �it has caused an unprecedented stir in Japan and is really very different from the classic detective stories. It may not be a fiction book, but rather something from personal memories and experiences, but it tells exactly what happened and what became of Japanese culture through the mouth of a person who is in love with it – “Lost Japan by Alex Kerr. On 12Books.ru you can get it with a recommendation from the director of the Pushkin Museum Marina Loshak.

  7. I would recommend” Shogun ” by J. Clavell and the works of Yukio Mishima: “Confession of the Mask”, “Golden Temple”, stories “Patriotism” and “Death in the middle of summer”. I don't pretend to be objective, of course.

  8. Kobo Abe (A box Man, a Strange Face, A Woman in the Sand, Just like a person, etc.). In a nutshell, he writes about personal and collective insanity, about human identity, and, as it seems to me, all this with a clear stamp of the Japanese mentality. Wikipedia named him one of the leaders of the Japanese post-war avant-garde.

  9. Old books that modern Japanese people grew up on:

    Hagakure (philosophy of service culture) (“samurai” translates to “servant”)

    Notes at the head of the bed (light elegant court poetess shares the inner world and palace gossip)

    The Tale of Genji (you need a good reading skill)

  10. You should not start getting acquainted with the literature of Japan immediately with literature, because you risk not understanding the whole essence, all the charm of this literature, because their view is strikingly different from the European one, start first with a small cultural excursion-

    the book of Japanese customs.

    The book is dedicated to describing the culture and lifestyle of the Japanese. The first part of the book, which gave the title to the entire edition, belongs to the pen of A. N. Meshcheryakov, a well-known scientist, author of many works on ancient and medieval Japan, who lived in this most interesting country for a long time. With unwavering love, but without ambiguity, he shows us the inner, sometimes intimate features of Japanese life in an indissoluble connection between the past and the present. The second part contains historical notes of Jesuit missionaries who preached Christianity among the Japanese in the 16th and 18th centuries. The third part is made up of archival documents, travel diaries and memoirs of European travelers who visited Japan in the XVII-XIX centuries. All this makes it possible to better understand not only the realities of Japanese everyday life, but also to get into the very soul of the Japanese from the side that remained hidden for us.

    I also advise you to listen to Meshcheryakov's short but very interesting lectures on Japan in the Arzamas project, you won't regret it, because Kobo Abe is beautiful, but if you are just getting acquainted with this country, you shouldn't start with the literary avant-garde , not knowing the country's peculiarities.�

    Try again to score in vk or search on the website of radio mayak about Kobo Abe or Yasunari Kawabata, there is at least a discussion of literature, but at the same time the Japanese soul is very subtly analyzed)�

    And also see a specialist in mythology Barkova Alexander, very interesting also tells about the customs of Japan

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