"Life for Sale" — first serialized in Weekly Playboy in 1968 — was, for long years, dismissed as mere "entertainment." Yet the surprising bestseller is a terrific example of Mishima's fecund imagination at its most free-wheeling and unfettered best.
To truly understand some of 20th-century Japan's most iconic literary works, you have to go back to ancient Greek tragedy and the "Dionysian" philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.
In "Three Japanese Short Stories," stories by noted authors Kafu Nagai, Koji Uno and Ryonosuke Akutagawa illustrate a Japan grappling with the wider world.
Whatever intriguing cultural differences we may have as human beings, it would appear that there are certain fundamentals that remain the same wherever you go — eating, sleeping and walking, for example. Yet, if you think about it, even these fundamentals vary radically from place ...
While some people pine for traditions from Japan's ancient past, it might actually be the more modern things that we'll truly miss.
James Heisig's "Much Ado About Nothingness" strives to link the philosophies of Kirato Nishida and Hajime Tanabe with broader intellectual and artistic themes.
Lafcadio Hearn's "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan" is an unmissable book offering a visceral, firsthand experience of a Japan now largely vanished.
Jeff Kingston's "Japan" is a concise, highly readable overview of Japan's political evolution from 1945 to the present, observed from an overarching historical perspective.
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.
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.