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.
Prize-winning author Yoko Tawada tethers her playful prose to realistic social issues: gender roles, immigration, aging societies. Writing in both Japanese and German, her novels have crossed multiple cultural boundaries.
In January this year, "My Brother's Husband," a two-volume manga written by Gengoroh Tagame and translated by Anne Ishii, won the inaugural Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (GLLI) Translated YA Book Prize.
Rich history is woven into each of the essays in "The Land We Saw, the Times We Knew," forming a picture of a Japan not unrecognizable to that of today, but one which has not yet made the Meiji Era leap into modernity.
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).
Filmmaker Mari Okada's own story, "From Truant to Anime Screen Writer," that of a child trapped in the prison of her hypersensitivity, is baldly and grimly told, a struggle against her demons of isolation, humiliation, and self-loathing.
For Shunmyo Masuno, chief priest at Kenkoji, a Soto Zen temple in Yokohama, Zen is an action, not a philosophy. As Masuno explains to The Japan Times, "Zen is concerned with gyōjūzaga, four cardinal behaviors: walking, standing, sitting, lying. It's difficult to discover the essence of Zen by sim...