In Japan, it was the runaway best-seller status of "Norwegian Wood" (1987), his wistful tale of crushed innocence and young love that sold more than 4 million copies in Japanese alone, that established Murakami's iconic status.
For Damian Flanagan's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Roger Pulvers' latest memoir, "The Unmaking of an American," takes readers on an engaging and occasionally revelatory tour of Japan and Pulvers' own family history.
Although this edition of "Geisha in Rivalry" is a translation of a censored version of the more racy original, it represents Nagai's rediscovery of the fast-disappearing traditional culture of Japan.
First published in Japanese in 1985, "Nishida Kitaro: The Man and His Thought" brings together diverse essays about both Nishida and his philosophy of "absolute nothingness" written by his former pupil Keiji Nishitani (1900-90).
Christopher Harding's comprehensive "Japan Story" is an ultra-progressive account of modern Japanese history, ushering the often-ignored maverick women, socialist thinkers and doubters of the state version of modernity to the front.
Heisig's "Philosophers of Nothingness" introduces the Kyoto School's three main philosophers: Kitaro Nishida, Hajime Tanabe and Keiji Nishitani.
Although he was poised to be a doctor, Lu Xun, the most celebrated of all modern Chinese authors, abandoned medicine for something he felt would truly enlighten and modernize his nation: literature.
"Kokoro," a collection of essays published in 1896 by the prolific Anglo-Irish author Lafcadio Hearn, teems with a diverse panorama of observations from a country swelling with national pride.
The Kyoto School of philosophy — which offers stimulating ideas, a distinctive critique of Western philosophy and applies a Western methodology to Japanese thought — represents Japan's greatest contribution to world philosophy in the 20th century.
"The Ark Sakura," Kobo Abe's puzzling, dream-like narrative about an obese recluse living in a vast underground bunker, is a dense interlacing of punning wordplay, psychological excavation and surreal imagery.