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Japanese Literature

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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12 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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9 Must-Read Japanese Mystery Novels (Honkaku)

It’s often the great European and American mystery writers of the 19th and 20th centuries — writers like Agatha Christie, Edgar Allan Poe, and Arthur Conan Doyle — whom we first turn to when looking for a great detective novel. However, the truth is that the Japanese mystery novels (honkaku) of the 20th century and …

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Review: There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job By Kikuko Tsumura

Translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton Published by Bloomsbury While I don’t know the complete shape of Japanese literature today, many Japanese books in translation have, for the past several years, been reflective of the frustrating, exhausting world their writers were born into. Most of these writers are inspiring women, exhausted and angered by …

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10 Chilling Classic Japanese Ghost Stories

The ghosts and demons (yokai) of Japanese folklore represent some of the most imaginative, diverse, and strange supernatural creatures anywhere in the world. Vengeful spirits and man-eating demons; haunted furniture and the ghosts of abandoned children populate the best Japanese ghost stories. Japanese ghost stories are a deep well of fantastical, terrifying wonders. They have …

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Kobo Abe: 3 Must-Read Genius Surreal Novels

Where do you start reading an author like Kobo Abe? The post-war Japanese author and playwright has become known, most famously, as Japan’s answer to Franz Kafka. One difference between the two, however, is that Abe was able to finish his works. And of them, which ones are must-read novels? What we have here are …

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Why You Should Read A Girl on the Shore (Manga)

Inio Asano is a mangaka best known for being one of the manga world’s smartest and boldest creators. His series Goodnight Punpun is an oft-touted masterpiece that taps into the tragedy of growing up lost and frightened. It’s a series that represents the literary highs which manga can (and often does) achieve. But if you …

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