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  Cover Art: Inside and other Short Fiction : Japanese Women By Japanese Women Inside and other Short Fiction : Japanese Women By Japanese Women
"Inside and Other Short Fiction" showcases recent writing by Japanese women writers today, including prize-winning novelists and authors never before published in English, as they explore the issue of female identity in a rapidly changing society.
2006
Adult Fiction Book INSIDE
  Cover Art: The Tales of the Heike The Tales of the Heike
One of the most important works in all of Japanese literature, "Tales of Heike" provides a dramatic window onto the emerging world of the medieval samurai and the epic civil war that changed the course of Japanese history.
2006
Adult Nonfiction Book PL790 .H42 2006
  Cover Art: The Box Man Abe, Kobo
The Box Man
In "The Box Man," a man decides to give up the self that he has been all his life to attain a state of blissful anonymity. He leaves his world behind and moves onto the streets of Tokyo. He puts a large box over his head, cuts a hole for his eyes. It is as strange as it sounds, but Abe's light touch and narrative innovation makes it compelling.
1974
Adult Fiction Book ABE
  Cover Art: Rashomon and Seventeen other Stories Akutagawa, Ryunosuke, 1892-1927.
Rashomon and Seventeen other Stories
Set in the Middle Ages, the nature of truth and subjective reality are probed in a series of flashbacks from four viewpoints to present the case history of a man's murder and the rape of his wife by a bandit.
2006
Adult Fiction Book AKUTAGA
  Cover Art: The Girl I Left Behind Endo, Shusaku
The Girl I Left Behind
Preparing to settle down to a career and marriage with his employer's niece, student Yoshioka Tstomu is unable to forget a fleeting relationship with Mitsu, a naive country girl, whose life is irrevocably changed by the affair.
1995
Adult Fiction Book ENDO
  Cover Art: Floating Clouds Hayashi, Fumiko, 1904-1951.
Floating Clouds
This poignant masterpiece tracks the ill-fated affair of Koda and Tomioka as they struggle to survive in the tumultuous years of WWII. Koda meets and falls in love with Tomioka while working in southern Vietnam, but the two go their own directions when the war ends. When they reunite, both changed by the devastation of warfare and the effects of time, they desperately court connection in a violently displaced world.
2006
Adult Fiction Book HAYASHI
  Cover Art: A Burden of Flowers Ikezawa, Natsuki
A Burden of Flowers
"A Burden of Flowers" charts the bitter struggle for justice against the might of the pan-Asian drugs cartels and a nation's cancerous political corruption
2001
Adult Fiction Book IKEZAWA
  Cover Art: Snakes and Earrings Kanehara, Hitomi
Snakes and Earrings
Running away from home into an unfettered new existence within Japan's underground youth culture, eighteen-year-old Liu befriends the seductive, body-pierced Ama and mysterious tattoo artist Shiba, friends whose increasingly reckless behavior forces Liu to make difficult choices.
2005
Adult Fiction Book KANEHARA
  Cover Art: Thousand Cranes Kawabata, Yasunari
Thousand Cranes
With a restraint that barely conceals the ferocity of his characters' passions, one of Japan's great postwar novelists tells the luminous story of Kikuji and the tea party he attends with Mrs. Ota, the rival of his dead father's mistress. A tale of desire, regret, and sensual nostalgia, every gesture has a meaning, and even the most fleeting touch or casual utterance has the power to illuminate entire lives--sometimes in the same moment that it destroys them.
1996
Adult Fiction Book KAWABATA
  Cover Art: Out Kirino, Natsuo
Out
After strangling her husband, Masako Katori, a middle-aged wife and mother working the night shift at a Tokyo factory, enlists the aid of four co-workers to conceal the crime.
2003
Adult Mystery Book KIRINO
  Cover Art: Embracing Family Kojima, Nobuo, 1915-
Embracing Family
Set during the post-WWII American occupation of Japan, this sometimes disjointed novel centers on middle-aged professor Shunsuke Miwa trying—and mostly failing—to understand the family from whom he has always been distant.
2005
Adult Fiction Book KOJIMA
  Cover Art: The Temple of the Wild Geese ; and Bamboo Dolls of Echizen : Two Novellas Minakami, Tsutomu, 1919-2004.
The Temple of the Wild Geese ; and Bamboo Dolls of Echizen : Two Novellas
"The Temple of the Wild Geese" is set in a Buddhist temple in the 1930s, where the priest takes a deceased donor's young mistress for his own. A young teenager is in training under the priest; a diminutive orphan with a misshapen head, Jinen is unusually silent and cold-eyed. Next to the omniscient narrator's, the mistress' perspective is preferred in this chamber drama of lust, resentment, and, ultimately, a perfect murder. "Bamboo Dolls of Echizen" occurs a decade earlier, mostly in a poor mountain hamlet whose most outstanding citizen is a dwarfish bamboo craftsman who has inherited his father's business and thereafter takes in the beautiful prostitute his father visited when in the city. He loves her but will not embrace her, and therefrom springs a wrenching tale, told primarily from the woman's perspective, of frustrated love, despondent lust, and death. Imagine a Dostoyevsky novel boiled down to pulp-thriller dimensions with no loss but, rather, a distillation of literary merit. That's true of each of these stunning small masterpieces.
2008
Adult Fiction Book MINAKAM
  Cover Art: Shame in the Blood : a Novel Miura, Tetsuo, 1931-
Shame in the Blood : a Novel
"Shame in the Blood" is considered one of the finest contemporary love stories in all of modern Japanese literature. The narrator, a young college student, has had two brothers disappear, two sisters lost to suicide, and his third sister is physically disabled. He is determined not only to survive but to thrive in spite of tormented thoughts that his family's blood is cursed. Told as six interlocked and layered stories, the novel builds and deepens as the particulars of everyday life provide a moving, beautiful testimony to the love and power of youth and commitment. The whole story is tinged with melancholic sadness often associated with Japanese literature, where the feeling of love itself is “a little death.”
2007
Adult Fiction Book MIURA
  Cover Art: The Devil's Whisper Miyabe, Miyuki
The Devil's Whisper
When his uncle is involved in a late-night accident while driving his taxicab, sixteen-year-old Mamoru Kusaka discovers that the victim had been involved in a cruel scam with three other young women.
2007
Adult Mystery Book MIYABE
  Cover Art: Stone Field, True Arrow Mori, Kyoko
Stone Field, True Arrow
Maya Ishida, a Japanese woman raised in Minneapolis and living a quietly contented married life as a weaver, questions her life and her assumptions after the death of her artist father, who remained in Japan.
2000
Adult Fiction Book MORI
  Cover Art: Kafka On the Shore Murakami, Haruki
Kafka On the Shore
The unlikely alliance between Kafka Tamura, a fifteen-year-old runaway, and the aging Nakata, a man who has never recovered from a wartime affliction, brings dramatic changes to both characters as they embark on a surreal odyssey through a strange, sometimes violent, sometimes fantastical world. 60,000 first printing.
2005
Adult Fiction Book MURAKAM
  Cover Art: In the Miso Soup Murakami, Ryu
In the Miso Soup
When tour guide Kenji is hired by Frank, an American, to show him the seamier side of Tokyo's nightlife, the man's strange behavior leads Kenji to suspect that he is the serial killer that has been terrorizing the area.
2003
Adult Fiction Book MURAKAM
  Cover Art: The Tale of Genji Murasaki Shikibu
The Tale of Genji
The classic novel of court life in tenth and eleventh-century Japan centers on the exploits of a nobleman known as the shining Genji, son of an emperor, and those of Kaoru, grandson of Genji's best friend.
2003
Adult Fiction Book MURASAK
  Cover Art: Rivalry : a Geisha's Tale Nagai, Kafu, 1879-1959
Rivalry : a Geisha's Tale
Originally published in 1918, "Rivalry" is regarded as the masterpiece of Nagai Kafu, a Japanese novelist known for his brilliant renderings of Tokyo in the early years of modern Japan. It tells a sweeping story in which sexual politics compete with sisterly affection in a world ruled by material transaction. Komayo is a former geisha who, upon the death of her husband, must return to the "world of flower and willow" to escape poverty. A chance encounter with an old patron, Yoshioka, leads to a relationship in which both lovers hope to profit: Yoshioka believes Komayo can restore his lost innocence; Komayo plans to use Yoshioka's patronage to compete in the elaborate music and dance performances staged by her fellow geisha.Yoshioka is eager to ransom Komayo, but as she considers his offer, Komayo falls in love with Segawa, a young actor who promises to turn the talented geisha into the finest dancer in the Shimbashi quarter. Though her feelings for Segawa are genuine, Komayo is eager to use her lover's position to become the lead performer among her peers. Her ambition even tempts her to take on a third patron known only as the "Sea Monster," a repellent but wealthy antiques dealer whose deep pockets promise to shoot Komayo to the height of celebrity.Though she finds herself at the pinnacle of a glittering career, Komayo nevertheless becomes the target of a bitter rivalry between her three lovers that leaves her both thrilled and exhausted, both brutalized and redeemed. Kafu's compelling tale takes readers from the intimate corners of the geisha house to the back rooms of assignation, from the dressing areas of the great kabuki theaters to the lonely country villa of a theater critic and connoisseur of Shimbashi women. His lush depictions of architecture and costumes and his incisive descriptions of urban life and individual motive provide a vivid backdrop for Komayo's struggle-one woman's absorbing quest to find fame, affection, and financial security in the refined but ruthless theater of Shimbashi.
2007
Adult Fiction Book NAGAI
  Cover Art: Somersault Oe, Kenzaburo
Somersault
Ten years after recanting their teachings and abandoning their zealous and violent congregation, two men known only as the Patron and Guide of Humankind seek to overcome a radical faction while leading peaceful followers toward a new future.
2003
Adult Fiction Book OE
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