Japanese Literature Challenge 2014

Japanese Literature Challenge 8Click on the logo to join.
More information on this challenge can be found here as well

Dolce Belleza has been graciously hosting the Japanese Literature Challenge for 8 years! This year,  it runs from June 1, 2014 until January 30, 2015. It requires the reading of at least one work of Japanese literature (or poetry) written by a Japanese author (or poet).

I’m so excited to be on time for this! Ideally, I would love to read 8 books for this challenge, but realistically, I’m aiming at 6.

Dolce Belleza is highlighting an author/month, so I’m going to try to follow her, as long as my library has books by these authors, while also integrating titles I’ve meant to read for a while:

June: Kaikō Takeshi (a prominent post WWII writer who won the Akutagawa prize in 1957)
July: Ryunosuke Akutagawa (known as the father of the Japanese short story)
August: Keigo Higashino (known primarily for his mystery novels; Naoko was one of my favorite books last year)
September: Haruki Murakami (a contemporary Japanese writer whose books have been translated in 50 languages and sold in the millions)
October: Yukio Mishima ( a 20th century writer nominated three times for the Nobel prize)
November: Yasunari Kawabata (first Japanese author to win the Nobel prize “for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind”. Nobel prize 
December: Natsume Sōseki (a novelist of the Meiji period (September 1868 through July 1912) whose writing has had a profound impact on almost all Japanese writers)
January: Banana Yoshimoto (a writer who claims that her two themes are “the exhaustion of young Japanese in contemporary Japan” and “the way in which terrible experiences shape a person’s life.”)

Well, of course my library network totally ignores Takeshi, so I’ll start with an alternative proposed by the organizer of this challenge.

So my list may be something like this:

  1. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Year of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami
  2. The Strange Library, by Haruki Murakami
  3. Kira-Kira, by Cynthia Kadohata
  4. Light And Dark, by Natsume Sōseki
  5. Five by Endo, by Shusaku Endo
  6. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, by Yukio Mishima
  7. The Sound of the Mountain, by Yasunari Kawabata
  8. Kitchen, by Banana Yoshimoto

Possible alternative titles for Challenge 8:

“Strangers”/or In Search of A Distant Voice, by Taichi Yamada

The Face of Another, by Kobe Abe

An Artist of the Floating World, by Ishiguro

Manazuru, by Kawakami

Volcano, by Shusaku Endo

I Am A Cat, by Soseki



13 thoughts on “Japanese Literature Challenge 2014

  1. Pingback: 2014: June wrap-up | Words And Peace

  2. Pingback: 2014: July wrap-up | Words And Peace

  3. Pingback: Book review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage | Words And Peace

  4. Pingback: 2014: August wrap-up | Words And Peace

  5. Pingback: 2014: September wrap-up | Words And Peace

  6. I noticed this on your sidebar. Thanks for reminding about it. I was glad to see that it started in June. So, I’m not too far behind. I’ve been meaning to work on Japanese books in my tbr pile. This will help with at least two…


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