Home / Cultural / Japan

Japan

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa Nana, a cat, is devoted to Satoru, his owner. So when Satoru decides to go on a roadtrip one day to find him a new home, Nana is perplexed. They visit Satoru’s old friends from his school days and early youth. His friends may have untidy emotional lives but they are all animal lovers, and they also wonder why Satoru is trying to give his beloved cat away. …

Read More »

90-Day Geisha: My Time as a Tokyo Hostess by Chelsea Haywood

90-Day Geisha: My Time as a Tokyo Hostess by Chelsea Haywood An introspective journey into the glamorous world—and temptations—of Japanese nightlife, by former model Chelsea Haywood. The hard-drinking, drug-taking, all-night culture that dominates Tokyo’s Roppongi district can be a surreal place. Overworked Japanese business men will pay handsomely for the services of a hostess—someone to talk to, someone to provide hot towels and drinks, and sometimes just a companion with whom to sing karaoke with …

Read More »

A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir by Ian Buruma

A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir by Ian Buruma A classic memoir of self-invention in a strange land: Ian Buruma’s unflinching account of his amazing journey into the heart of Tokyo’s underground culture as a young man in the 1970’s When Ian Buruma arrived in Tokyo in 1975, Japan was little more than an idea in his mind, a fantasy of a distant land. A sensitive misfit in the world of his upper middleclass youth, what …

Read More »

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent …

Read More »

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renée Ahdieh The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath. So, at just seventeen …

Read More »

Silence by Shūsaku Endō

Silence by Shūsaku Endō

Silence by Shūsaku Endō Father Rodrigues is an idealistic Portuguese Jesuit priest who, in the 1640s, sets sail for Japan on a determined mission to help the brutally oppressed Japanese Christians and to discover the truth behind unthinkable rumours that his famous teacher Ferreira has renounced his faith. Once faced with the realities of religious persecution Rodrigues himself is forced to make an impossible choice: whether to abandon his flock or his God. Winner of …

Read More »

Almost Transparent Blue by Ryū Murakami

Almost Transparent Blue by Ryū Murakami

Almost Transparent Blue by Ryū Murakami Almost Transparent Blue is a brutal tale of lost youth in a Japanese port town close to an American military base. Murakami’s image-intensive narrative paints a portrait of a group of friends locked in a destructive cycle of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. The novel is all but plotless, but the raw and often violent prose takes us on a rollercoaster ride through reality and hallucination, highs and lows, in …

Read More »