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Japanese Literature Challenge 4 – Wrap up post

Japanese Literature Challenge 4

The Japanese Literature Challenge is in its 4th year, between June 1, 2010 and January 30, 2011 and hosted by lovely Dolce Bellezza.

  1. Hotel Iris, Yoko Ogawa
  2. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
  3. After Dark, Haruki Murakami
  4. Changeling by Kenzaburo Oe
  5. After the Banquet by Yukio Mishima
  6. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima
  7. Asleep, Banana Yoshimoto
  8. The Maid, Yasutaka Tsutsui
  9. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Yukio Mishima
  10. After the Quake by Haruki Murakami
  11. Quicksand by Junichiro Tanizaki
  12. Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami

I think I’m not the only who will say this: Once you begin reading Japanese Literature, you get hook to it. The only J-lit I read before signing up for this challenge are Haruki Murakami, Banana Yoshimoto  and Yoko Ogawa. Looking at my reading list above, it doesn’t look as if I diversify very much but I fell in love with novels by Yukio Mishima this year.

J-Lit challenges my thinking, pushes the boundaries of my reading, teases my curiosity. It opens my eyes to another culture which I thought I knew, but now I know I knew nothing. Shocked me, enticed me, disturbed me, J-Lit is here to stay on my reading list.

Amongst my favourites, I recommend After the Banquet, The Temple of the Golden Pavillion by Yukio Mishima; and Sputnik Sweetheart and Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.

Fortunately I have Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge 2011 to look forward to, to get my J-lit fix. The rate I am going, I think I will be heading towards the Super-frog level of the Murakami Challenge real soon. (Can you believe there are 439 sign-ups to date?!!)

Won’t you join me in reading more Japanese Literature this year (whatever the challenges, reading or personal, may be)?

See other participants’ reading list on the J-Lit 4 review site.

About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


8 thoughts on “Japanese Literature Challenge 4 – Wrap up post

  1. Isn’t it just? I was hooked after my first Banana Yoshimoto. I’m hoping that more Japanese literature will be translated in the future, as my Japanese is er… on the level of manga and anime 😉 Maybe Belleza will be hosting another Japanese lit challenge for 2011?

    Posted by Chinoiseries | January 31, 2011, 7:49 pm
    • Chinoiseries, lol… my Japanese level is not even on the level you mentioned. If it’s not translated, I don’t understand a thing besides greetings and saying thank you! 😉 If Bellezza doesn’t host another one this year, I’ll cry. 😦

      Posted by JoV | January 31, 2011, 9:21 pm
  2. well done Jov ,all the best stu

    Posted by winstonsdad | February 1, 2011, 12:41 am
  3. You did a mighty fine job, JoV. I’m so eager to read Norwegian Wood after all your praise for it; it’s long been on my list. I’m glad to have the Murakami Challenge which Tanabata set up. Did you see that 1Q84 is to be released October 25, 2011? I’m so excited! Perhaps I will host another challenge, the JLC5 in July, but perhaps not. It seems that Tanabata is doing so many exciting things with this genre. Thanks for participating, and expanding your ‘boundaries’ which is my favorite thing about this challenge. I, too, am learning so much more about Japanese authors. xoxo

    Posted by Bellezza | February 4, 2011, 3:51 am
    • You have to host another one Bellezza. Otherwise I’ll cry… 😦 boo hoo hoo 🙂
      Bellezza, The J-Lit challenge has been going on for so long and I really benefit a lot from discovering new Japanese authors. Tanabata is doing some things about the genre but you could still host the challenge. I can’t think of anyone better to do this. I knew about 1Q84 pre-order copy costs £22.80 in the UK, which I thought was a bit pricey. I’ll have to wait for the library to stock it up or when the price drop! Thanks for your kind words Bellezza. 🙂

      Posted by JoV | February 4, 2011, 9:18 am
  4. hi, i love your blog! i just happened to stumble upon it while searching for info on villain which i’m currently reading 🙂 and it seems we have a similar taste in books. i got hooked on japanese novels this summer and can’t stop reading them. and i adore mishima 🙂 i just finished reading after the banquet. i saw your reading list and i’d suggest that you start with g.g. marquez. i have a feeling you’d like him. anyway, great blog, great books, great reviews! thnx 😀

    Posted by sandra | December 7, 2011, 5:33 pm
    • Sandra,
      I think I may like GGM. His books are popping out everywhere and I haven’t read any of them yet! Glad to find another who adores Mishima… Thank you so much for your kind words, I hope to hear about what you are reading next. 😀

      Posted by JoV | December 8, 2011, 12:13 am

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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