Titles for Japanese Culture Day

By Coll Rowe | November 2 2023 | HistorySociologyComparative Literature

For Japanese Culture Day, we are sharing titles that celebrate the country’s art, history, and culture. From titles about the history of Japan to classic and modern Japanese literature—ranging from women’s voices and historical, sociological, or religious perspectives—this collection provides an array of perspectives about Japanese culture.

A Beginner's Guide to Japan
Observations and Provocations

After three decades in Japan, Pico Iyer knows the country like few others. In A Beginner’s Guide to Japan, he draws on his years of experience—his travels, conversations, readings, and reflections—to illuminate his adopted home like never before. This is a playful and profound guidebook full of surprising, brief, incisive glimpses into Japanese culture.

$17.00 US
Jun 02, 2020
208 Pages

Pure Invention
How Japan Made the Modern World
The untold story of how Japan became a cultural superpower through the fantastic inventions that captured—and transformed—the world’s imagination.
$18.00 US
Jun 22, 2021
368 Pages

The father of modern Japanese literature's best-loved novel, in its first new English translation in half a century.
$17.00 US
Feb 23, 2010
256 Pages
Penguin Classics

Dead-End Memories
Japan’s internationally celebrated master storyteller returns with five stories of women on their way to healing that vividly portrays the blissful moments and everyday sorrows that surround us in everyday life.
$26.00 US
Aug 09, 2022
240 Pages

The Sakura Obsession
The Incredible Story of the Plant Hunter Who Saved Japan's Cherry Blossoms

As much a history of the cherry blossom in Japan as it is the story of one remarkable man, The Sakura Obsession follows the flower from its significance as a symbol of the imperial court, through the dark days of the Second World War, and up to the present-day worldwide fascination with this iconic blossom.

$21.00 US
Feb 25, 2020
416 Pages

Woman Running in the Mountains
Set in 1970s Japan, this tender and poetic novel about a young, single mother struggling to find her place in the world is an early triumph by a modern Japanese master.
$17.95 US
Feb 22, 2022
288 Pages
NYRB Classics

The Tale of the Heike
From the acclaimed translator of The Tale of Genji, a groundbreaking rendering of Japan’s great martial epic.
$30.00 US
Mar 25, 2014
784 Pages
Penguin Classics

The End of August
A Novel
From the National Book Award winning author, an extraordinary, ground-breaking, epic multi-generational novel about a Korean family living under Japanese occupation.
$35.00 US
Aug 01, 2023
720 Pages
Riverhead Books

The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories
A major new collection of Japanese short stories, many appearing in English for the first time, with an introduction by Haruki MurakamiA Penguin Classic
$20.00 US
Jul 14, 2020
576 Pages
Penguin Classics

Diary of a Void
A Novel
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker · NPR · WBEZ’s Nerdette · The New York Public Library · Literary HubA New York Times Editors’ Choice“One of the most passionate cases I’ve ever read for female interiority, for women’s creative pulse and rich inner life.” ―Katy Waldman, The New Yorker“Always expect the unexpected when you’re not expecting.” ―Sloane CrosleyA woman in Tokyo avoids harassment at work by perpetuating, for nine months and beyond, the lie that she’s pregnant in this prizewinning, thrillingly subversive debut novel about the mother of all deceptions, for fans of Convenience Store Woman and Breasts and Eggs
$18.00 US
Aug 08, 2023
224 Pages
Penguin Books

Three Japanese Buddhist Monks
A guiding light amid the world's chaos and a manual for rejecting materialism, in the form of writings by Japanese Buddhist monks
$13.00 US
Jun 08, 2021
112 Pages
Penguin Books

The Forest Brims Over
A Novel
A woman turns herself into a forest after long being co-opted to serve as the subject of her husband’s novels—this surrealist fable challenges traditional gender attitudes and exploitation in the literary world
$16.95 US
Jul 25, 2023
208 Pages

Blossoms in the Wind
Human Legacies of the Kamikaze
Back with Caliber after more than a decade out of print, a revelatory and groundbreaking account of Imperial Japan’s kamikaze—the suicide pilots of World War II—as told through the eyes of survivors
$32.00 US
May 09, 2023
496 Pages
Dutton Caliber

Hit Parade of Tears
A new collection of short stories translated from Japanese from the cult author of Terminal Boredom
$19.95 US
Apr 11, 2023
288 Pages
Verso Fiction