Books to read before visiting Japan

After the Quake

After the Quake

Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin

Tales of upheaval and confusion, longing and love in the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake. For the characters in after the quake, the Kobe earthquake is an echo from a past they buried long ago.

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The Guest Cat

The Guest Cat

Takashi Hiraide, Eric Selland

An international bestseller. A charming and wonderful novel about a cat that brings joy into a couple's life

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 Special priceParade

Parade

Shuichi Yoshida

Four twenty-somethings share an apartment in Tokyo. In this title, each tells their story: their lives, their hopes and fears, their loves, their secrets. It includes: Kotomi waits by the phone for a boyfriend who never calls;...

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Spring Snow

Spring Snow

Yukio Mishima

The closed world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders - rich provincial families, a new and powerful political and social elite. Kiyoaki has been raised among the elegant Ayakura family -...

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An Artist of the Floating World

An Artist of the Floating World

Kazuo Ishiguro

It is 1948. Japan is rebuilding her cities after the calamity of World War Two, her people putting defeat behind them and looking to the future. The celebrated artist, Masuji Ono, fills his days attending to his garden, his house...

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In The Miso Soup

In The Miso Soup

Ryu Murakami, Ralph F. McCarthy

It's just before New Year, and Frank, an overweight American tourist, has hired Kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo's nightlife. But, Frank's behaviour is so odd that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion: his...

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People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--And the Evil That Swallowed Her Up

People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo–And the Evil That Swallowed Her Up

Richard Lloyd Parry, Parry, Richard

In 2000, a tall, blonde, 21-year-old went missing in Tokyo, and her remains were found several months later. Questions arose about her friendships, her career, and her intentions.

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The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches

The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches

Matsuo Basho, Nobuyuki Yuasa

Presents travel writings which chronicle the author's perilous journeys through Japan and also capture his vision of eternity in the transient world around him.

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Memoirs of a Geisha: The Literary Sensation and Runaway Bestseller

Memoirs of a Geisha: The Literary Sensation and Runaway Bestseller

Arthur Golden

Summoning up more than 20 years of Japan's most dramatic history, the geisha's story uncovers a hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation. It moves from a small fishing village in 1929 to the...

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Snow Country

Snow Country

Yasunari Kawabata, Edward G. Seidensticker

Shimamura is tired of the bustling city. He takes the train through the snow to the mountains of the west coast of Japan, to meet with a geisha he believes he loves.

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I am a Cat

I am a Cat

Soseki Natsume, Aiko Ito

Written over the course of 1904-6, Soseki's comic masterpiece, I Am a Cat satirizes the follies of upper-middle-class Japanese society during the Meiji era. With acerbic wit and sardonic perspective, it follows the whimsical...

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