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Japanese Literature

Discover the wonderful world of Japanese Literature

How East Asian Cover Artists Created Honford Star’s Unique Covers

Taylor Bradley from publisher Honford Star shares insight into their process of choosing local cover designers for their East Asian books and why they wouldn’t consider doing it any other way. For the first book that we published at Honford Star, we made a small but hugely influential decision – we’d hire a Korean artist …

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12 Best New Japanese Books in Translation 2021

Year after year, we are treated to more incredible Japanese books in translation. After the fantastic turn-out of Japanese books in 2020 — especially Mieko Kawakami’s breakaway hit Breasts and Eggs — 2021 has a lot to live up to. Luckily, all signs point to 2021 being an even better year for new Japanese books …

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Why You Need to Read Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku Manga

Much like how Netflix and HBO sparked a new golden age of TV a few years ago, shonen manga is seeing its own new golden age. In the 90s, there was Dragon Ball. Ten years later, we had the ‘big three’ of Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. Now, we have series’ like My Hero Academia, …

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Why the Chainsaw Man & Fire Punch Manga are Awesome

Tatsuki Fujimoto has gone from rising star to king of the shonen manga genre in a very short space of time. Like Attack on Titan’s creator Hajime Isayama, Tatsuki Fujimoto’s rise has been like that of a rocket, with all the speed, excitement, and splendour. It began with the Fire Punch manga and was solidified …

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Review: Astral Season, Beastly Season by Tahi Saihate

“The lives of the characters in this story are burning up within their bodies,” Saihate writes in the afterword to Astral Season, Beastly Season. “They certainly cannot expose those lives to others, and no one will understand them fully.” This is the debut novel in English by a celebrated young poet in Japan. It’s a …

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The Healing Power of Japanese Literature

‘Wrapped up in our hectic lives, there’s something soothing about reading a narrative that has nowhere to be.’ Guest Post courtesy of Osusume Books The narratives found in Japanese literature have a unique power to heal the minds of its readers. A tough day of work ends. It’s time to flush the stress out of your …

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11 Best Modern Shonen Manga 2021

Of all the most beloved, best-selling manga — the ones with the biggest legacies; the staunchest fanbases; the biggest numbers — most of them are shonen manga. But many of those shonen manga are now finished and aging. Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach. These names are being replaced, but by what? By these fantastic modern shonen …

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12 Best Junji Ito Manga (Books & Short Stories)

Nobody does horror like Junji Ito, and there is no manga quite like a Junji Ito manga. While scary stories have been told for as long as we’ve had stories, and mythologies across the world are filled with creatures and tales of terror, it’s only within the last century that horror has become cemented as …

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Is the Demon Slayer Manga Worth Reading?

It’s an irrefutable fact that Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is the biggest anime in the world right now. Hype surrounding the Demon Slayer anime is intense, and the Mugen Train movie has become one of the biggest box office hits in the history of Japanese animation. Because of this, the Demon Slayer manga, written …

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Early Murakami: Why You Should Read The Rat Trilogy

Cult icon. Literary superpower. Global phenomenon. These are just some of the words used to describe Japanese author Haruki Murakami, whose books have been translated into 50 languages and have infatuated millions of readers worldwide. Yet Murakami might never have written a word without his ‘epiphany’ at a Yakult Swallows baseball game in April 1978.  …

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