Rie Qudan speaks to reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday after being awarded the Akutagawa Prize.
CULTURE / Books
Jan 19, 2024
Akutagawa Prize draws controversy after win for work that used ChatGPT
Rie Qudan won Japan’s most important prize for early career writers for “Tokyo-to Dojo-to,” a novel that “exposes the prophecy of the AI generation.”
In his new memoir, “Rental Person Who Does Nothing,” Shoji Morimoto describes his journey to becoming a professional blank page, citing his own posts on X (formerly Twitter), where he reflects on his transactions to nearly half a million followers.
CULTURE / Books
Jan 18, 2024
‘Rental Person Who Does Nothing’ finds value in just being
In his new memoir, Shoji Morimoto describes his unique business model: Do nothing for his clients.
Clara Kumagai’s young adult debut, “Catfish Rolling,” follows a teenager who lost her mother during a major earthquake caused by the movements of a powerful catfish, which fractured Japan into different “time zones.”
CULTURE / Books
Jan 13, 2024
Genre-defying novel 'Catfish Rolling' navigates grief in a fractured land
Mixing folklore, science and philosophy with magical realism, Clara Kumagai’s impressive young adult debut explores the emotional aftermath of a powerful earthquake.
Fiction such as Asako Yuzuki’s “Butter: A Novel of Food and Murder” and nonfiction like Robert Whiting’s "Gamblers, Fraudsters, Dreamers & Spies: The Outsiders who Shaped Modern Japan” are just a taste of 2024's exciting releases.
CULTURE / Books
Jan 11, 2024
Anticipated translations and books about Japan to brighten your 2024
From debut novels to classic crime thrillers, the year ahead promises a wealth of must-read titles to add to your reading list.
Books published by Tuttle Publishing on a bookshelf in Infinity Books in Tokyo's Sumida Ward on Saturday
CULTURE / Books
Jan 3, 2024
Asia publishing mainstay Tuttle rides new wave of interest in Japan
The back catalog of Tuttle, which traces its history in Japan to 1948, is in high demand, and it has even branched out to graphic novel versions of classic Asian literature.
Author Yasunari Kawabata’s “The Rainbow” seems to suggest it is never too late to heal, so long as we face our pain rather than run away.
CULTURE / Books
Dec 21, 2023
‘The Rainbow’: Artistic world underscores truths of the human heart
Despite resonant themes, this translation of Nobel Prize-winner Yasunari Kawabata’s novel about lingering grief and regrets feels strangely distant.
While non-Japanese readers have in recent years been spoiled for choice when it comes to Japanese literature in translation, there is still a wealth of notable works that translators would love to see rendered into English.
CULTURE / Books
Dec 20, 2023
A wish list of hidden gems for Japanese literature lovers
Eight translators reveal their top Japanese books that English readers have yet to enjoy.

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves