What we're about

You may have read some novels by Haruki Murakami, and you are interested in Japanese literature but have no idea what Japanese books to read, then this is the right place for you! We discuss Japanese books in English. Each time we pick up one of the translations of notable Japanese books and talk about it.
We are online, so you can join wherever you are. You are always welcomed! The host is from Japan to give you a bit of information about the culture, time settings, and backgrounds depicted in those books.

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In this book club, we discuss one of these books below every month. (subject to change depending on members' preference) Your recommendations are most welcome.

A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe
Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yu
The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima
Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
Men Without Women (short stories) by Haruki Murakami

(Finished books)
In 2020
Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima, Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, Kokoro by Natsume Soseki, Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama
In 2021
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe, The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki, Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami, No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai, Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse, Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami

If you want to discuss the books we've already finished, let me know. I'm happy to chat with you using the materials I created.

We look forward to meeting you at the event!

YH

Upcoming events (2)

Online Book Club: Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri

Online event

This is a story about a man who somehow dropped out of his ordinary life and became homeless. His life coincided with the two Olympics in Tokyo and the mighty earthquake that struck Japan's eastern regions. You may not often see homeless people in Tokyo, but this book gives you ideas of how their lives are and why they were forced into such difficult situations.
This book was a winner of the National Book Awards for the translated literature in 2020.

From the book description on Goodreads:
"Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Emperor, Kazu’s life is tied by a series of coincidences to Japan’s Imperial family and to one particular spot in Tokyo; the park near Ueno Station – the same place his unquiet spirit now haunts in death. It is here that Kazu’s life in Tokyo began, as a labourer in the run up to the 1964 Olympics, and later where he ended his days, living in the park’s vast homeless ‘villages’, traumatised by the destruction of the 2011 tsunami and enraged by the announcement of the 2020 Olympics.

Akutagawa-award-winning author Yu Miri uses her outsider’s perspective as a Zainichi (Korean-Japanese) writer to craft a novel of utmost importance to this moment, a powerful rebuke to the Imperial system and a sensitive, deeply felt depiction of the lives of Japan’s most vulnerable people. "

Amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/Tokyo-Ueno-Station-Yu-Miri-ebook/dp/B081914PR7/ref=sr_1_1?crid=W8INLE8IG6OD&dchild=1&keywords=tokyo+ueno+station+by+yu+miri&qid=1630759505&s=books&sprefix=tokyo+ueno+%2Cstripbooks%2C312&sr=1-1

Please read the book before the meetup so that we can exchange impressions and perspectives about the story.

We look forward to hearing your impressions and thoughts on the book!

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Below is the list of books we are planning to read. Your recommendations are welcome.

The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima
Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
Men without Women (short stories) by Haruki Murakami

Online Book Club: The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima

Online event

This time, let's pick up a great recommendation from David, one of our book club members from NY. Unlike other works by Mishima, it is a beautiful love story set on a small island in central Japan. But you also can feel this author's same keen observant eye when he describes the human flesh as he did in his other works.

From the book description on Goodreads:
"Set in a remote fishing village in Japan, The Sound of Waves is a timeless story of first love. It tells of Shinji, a young fisherman and Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in the village. Shinji is entranced at the sight of Hatsue in the twilight on the beach and they fall in love. When the villagers' gossip threatens to divide them, Shinji must risk his life to prove his worth."

Amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Waves-Vintage-International-ebook/dp/B00C0AM2M2/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Please read the book before the meetup so that we can exchange impressions and perspectives about the story.

Let's finish the last 2021 event by discussing this lovely novel together!

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Below is the list of books we are planning to read. Your recommendations are welcome.

Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
The Traveling Cat Chronicle by Hiro Arikawa
Men without Women (short stories) by Haruki Murakami

Past events (15)

Photos (45)