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Japanese Literature Challenge

I’m a first-timer to the tremendously popular Japanese Literature Challenge, now in it’s fifth incarnation. Hosted by Dolce Bellezza, the challenge requires just one book from June 1, 2011 until January 30, 2012, although I will probably end up reading more.

Although he’s popping up on everyone’s list, I’m giving Murakami a break this time because he’s too “out there” for me.

Confessions of a Mask Yukio Mishima 假面の告白 三島 由紀夫 (1948)
Forbidden Colors Yukio Mishima 禁色 三島 由紀夫 (1953)
Burial in the Clouds Hiroyuki Agawa 雲の墓標 阿川 弘之 (1956)
The Silent Cry Kenzaburo Oe 万延元年のフットボール 大江 健三郎(1967)
Darkness in Summer Takeshi Kaiko 夏の闇 開高 健(1972)

The focus is 20th century literature, with an emphasis on literary fiction.

12 Responses

  1. I’ve read both the Mishima books. Both are wonderful, but my favorite of his The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea.

    • I remember you really enjoyed Mishima when I was compiling the list of books. I will also include The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea.

  2. I’ve read Norwegian Wood but I have to agree with you about Murakami. I’ve just posted about this challenge too and expect to read Oe’s new book, The Changeling and a few others. I see you’re reading Asylum, I loved that story and have read McGrath’s Trauma too. I hope you enjoy it. I look forward to hearing about what you read for the JLC5.

    • Looking back at my Murakami experiences, I cannot nail down into a few sentences what his writings’ purpose is. Lots of digression, interfaces between reality and extraordinary reality. My own memory speaks for itself when it comes to what I have been impressed by the readings. He is out-there for me. Too outlandish.

  3. So glad you’ve decided to join in! I would like to read some more Mishima myself. Of course, there are endless Japanese novels I can’t wait to read…have you seen the ‘suggested reading list’? There are good titles to choose from there, but I can see you have a wonderful list of your own. Looking forward to sharing thoughts together about what we’ve read.

    • Thank you for hosting this reading challenge, Bellezza. I’m so excited that many book bloggers want to peruse this genre. I haven’t looked at the suggested reading list until after I have compiled my list. I am going to check it out because I’m sure I’ll be reading more than the challenge requires. 🙂

  4. I picked up a book by a Japanese author from my library sale a few months ago…will have to participate.

  5. That’s great that you decided to join in on the fun this year. This is such a great challenge! I’m excited to read some Murakami and Yoshimoto and Ogawa for this JLC. Hope you enjoy it! Your list looks great – I have an Oe book, but I’m not sure if I want to dive into it for this challenge – I’m looking forward to your thoughts on his work. Cheers!

    • I cannot believe I haven’t heard of this wonderful challenge. I’ve been in the nutshell! I am going to start with Mishima, in fact, both of the Mishima books because they also explore LGBT themes.

  6. Have fun with the challenge Matt!

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