Japanese Literature discussion

276 views
Japanese literature in general > Recommendation and Requests

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1304 comments A GR friend recommended that I check out books written by Lafcadio Hearn also known as Koizume Yakumo). I am unfamiliar with him. After reading his bio, I’m on the fence, e.g., wondering whether I want to read his essays. Can anyone advise on whether his perspective is Western, Japanese or something else? Is there a work you enjoyed or recommend?


message 2: by Ian (new)

Ian Josh | 271 comments Hmmm... I find him to be a bit slow, but insightful and unique. I’m slowing reading a few of his works that were/maybe are free on Kindle.

I got to visit his museum and Home in Matsue last year and I have a few friends who absolutely love him.

He was certainly not Japanese, but became very much Japanese as time went on... so, depending on which era you read you may get a different feeling.


message 3: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Rowland (interstate604) | 5 comments Yes, I agree with Josh. I earnestly tried to read "Japan: An Interpretation" but it was simply not engaging. "Kwaidan" seems very popular, though.


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1304 comments Thanks, Josh and Stephen. I'll look for Kwaidan, perhaps, but I won't make a rush of it.


message 5: by Agnetta (new)

Agnetta | 300 comments I read Japan : An interpretation.
I was quite enthusiastic about it myself as it gave me a lot of background about history , culture and religion in a very structured way. However, it is more a study-read then a relaxing read. So in that sense, just depends on what is your interest.

At that moment, I had little insight in Japan's history, therefore it was very helpful, especially to understand the religious background.
I do recommend it.


message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1304 comments Agnetta wrote: "I read Japan : An interpretation.
I was quite enthusiastic about it myself as it gave me a lot of background about history , culture and religion in a very structured way. However, it is more a stu..."


Thank you, agnetta. That’s very helpful.


message 7: by Zak (new)

Zak | 10 comments Hi all, first time commenting in this forum. I read Lafcadio Hearn's "Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things" and didn't really take to it. Not sure how to explain this. It seemed more like he was telling the reader "about" old Japanese tales rather than telling the stories themselves, in a way that would immerse the reader in them. I thought I'd check out the book since I quite enjoyed the movie "Kwaidan", based on the title story, but apart from that, the rest of the stories in the book were pretty unremarkable. I think it's mostly the way they were presented. In comparison, I found Edogawa Rampo's "Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination" to be much better.


message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1304 comments Zak wrote: "Hi all, first time commenting in this forum. I read Lafcadio Hearn's "Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things" and didn't really take to it. Not sure how to explain this. It seemed more like..."

Zak, Your comment is particularly spot-on for me because I read Rampo's collection last week and was a bit disappointed. My expectations perhaps were too high, but I found the stories to be well-written but uninteresting. Like a well-sewn Brooks Brothers jacket. I wouldn't want to take a step down from that, in any event, and am seeking authenticity. Thanks again!


message 9: by Zak (new)

Zak | 10 comments You're welcome, Carol. It's just my opinion though, I'm always wary of turning people away from any book, as it could just be a matter of different tastes. Re: Rampo, I thought the stories about the chair and the deformed guy were quite memorable.


message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1304 comments Zak wrote: "You're welcome, Carol. It's just my opinion though, I'm always wary of turning people away from any book, as it could just be a matter of different tastes. Re: Rampo, I thought the stories about th..."

Memorable, yes :)

No worries on turning someone away. We’re all responsible adults here. Or at least, on my best days, I am one.


Dioni (Bookie Mee) (dioni) | 157 comments I've been meaning to read Rampo, which I will do at some point. Good to have my expectation managed :)


message 12: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1304 comments Dioni (Bookie Mee) wrote: "I've been meaning to read Rampo, which I will do at some point. Good to have my expectation managed :)"

Yes, sorry, Dioni. Not boring or bad at any point, but a solid, unwavering 5-6 out of 10. It was a quick read, if that helps.


message 13: by Bill (new)

Bill | 780 comments I've only read one collection by Lafcadio Hearn, and my impression was similar to Zak's.

For such tales, I recommend Royall Tyler's Japanese Tales https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...


message 14: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1304 comments Bill wrote: "I've only read one collection by Lafcadio Hearn, and my impression was similar to Zak's.

For such tales, I recommend Royall Tyler's Japanese Tales https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6......"


Thank you, Bill. I’ll check it out.


message 15: by Zak (new)

Zak | 10 comments Bill wrote: For such tales, I recommend Royall Tyler's Japanese Tales https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6......"

Thanks, Bill. It looks good.


message 16: by Jon (new)

Jon Ciliberto | 66 comments Today at 2 pm ET:

Art and Commerce at Play: The Illustrated Book in Early Modern Japan

https://www.facebook.com/events/44781...

I think this is a re-cast of something previously presented in November 2021...


message 17: by Jay (new)

Jay | 1 comments hello! I cant find it so I figured I’d ask here, does anyone know any websites where I could read the perfect crime by Mushitarō Oguri in English? I’d really like to read it


back to top