joelenebeverly (joelenebeverly) wrote in daruma,


I am in desperate need of some help with a Christmas gift!  My brother spent a full year in Japan (Nagoya) two years ago on a Rotary Exchange.  He returned to study Japanese and Language at the University of BC (Canada).  He is completely fluent verbally and in written form.  He loves the Japanese culture and language and hopes to return next year on a study abroad program.  Now for where you come in…  He is finding that most people he encounters in his classes are in the very beginnings of learning the language and he wants to maintain his fluency.  For Christmas he has asked for Japanese novels.  Basically any kind of novel (fiction), but written in Japanese.  Where can I find such a thing!? TIA

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I've actually bought several at Borders, although it might depend on the area whether or not they stock books in languages besides Spanish (I live in a college town with a lot of students from abroad). On the internet, I know I've seen a few places, but all I can remember right now is Sasuga out of Boston. They have a lot of untranslated manga, novels and other books.
Wow, thank you soooo much! That website was exactly what I was looking for!
A trip to the local Japanese bookstore like Kinokuniya, Asahiya, or even a used book store like Book Off should provide a wealth of Japanese novels.

There's one near me if you need help finding a specific title that can't be bought online.
I'm in a small city in Ontario (Canada) - I've never heard of those book stores, but will check it out. I may have to make a trip to Toronto if I can't find anything online. Thanks for the leads!
does yr brother have any preferred writers? I'm not fluent enough to read in japanese, but I enjoy Japanese novels and am looking for any recs for novels translated into English.
What kind of writers do you like, generally? I'm a Japanese lit major, so I can probably suggest a few.
you know of any novels concerning the red movements of the 60's and 70's? the anti-Narita stuff? the experimental music of that period? Haruki Murakami touches on the red stuff occasionally, but I'd be interested in reading something more strident, or at least an enthused protagonist. I like H. Murakami, but I got tired of his work after a while -- Ryu Murakami's Almost Transparent Blue was pretty good, but I hated Coin Locker Babies. Fictional celebrity novels like that usually turn me off. I read a Banana Yoshimoto collection once, but I remember a vague sense of enjoyment but nothing else stuck with me. I prefer novels...
Hmmm, I don't think a lot of those are in translation. At least, most of the courses I've taken haven't touched on them; my last modern lit class only covered turn-of-the-century Meiji up to just post-occupation stuff.

You generally don't get terribly enthused protagonists in Japanese writing, which I attribute to the nature of the language and of the culture. You might like to read Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's later stuff, from the late 50s/early 60s. Kobo Abe and Mishima wrote post-war as well, although Abe's stuff is pretty surreal (which might be a draw if you enjoyed H. Murakami). And, although I'm not a fan, Oe is a Murakami contemporary you could check out.
Kenzaburo Oe, just to be clear.
You generally don't get terribly enthused protagonists in Japanese writing

that may be part of my interest in the red groups -- the fact that Japan even had these political radicals seems something at odds with the stereotypes.

thanks much for the recs!

if he's not offended by vampires or such, i suggest you search up " Stephenie Meyer" , and get him the japanese versions of her Twilight book. They are awesome, and fairly easy to read. 8D
If he just wants to read, in addition to buying him something you could tell him he could check out They have extexts of a lot of works in the public domain. A lot of Meiji and Taisho authors.