The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories

Astro Pen

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I just ordered a copy of this. I thought it could be interesting, both in terms of culture and maybe different from western literature in its approaches to story structure. It covers about a century up to the present I gather.
Has anyone else read any Japanese works? I imagine a good translator is critical.

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I read Murakami's Norwegian Wood a few years back, thinking I might find something insightful, probably due to having the same title as a Beatles song. However, I just found it to be uncomfortably sexist and doubted it would be tolerated if written by a Western author. Just my opinion at the time.
 
I have read several Murakami novels (not Norwegian Wood) and enjoyed them.
Likewise Kazuo Ishiguro.
 
Arrived. Yesterday. So I dipped in.
The first story I read, Shibata Motoyuki's Cambridge Circus, Launched in second person! An interesting start. An unusual sting in the tail story.
 
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Recently, I read Murakami's Norwegian Wood and IQ84 and thought they were OK.

And many years back read the sea of fertility tetralogy by Yukio Mishima and it was nothing special.

 Much better were the several books by Kawabata - beautiful stuff.

And Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse on the aftermath of the Hiroshima bomb was powerful stuff.

(I went through a Japanese literature phase for a while).

I would recommend Kawabata. And this recent trip has encouraged me to read him again.
 

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