Japanese Literature Challenge 3 Wrap-up!

14 February, 2010

As a student I worked in a Japanese bookshop in London for many years and was surrounded by so many Japanese authors, but was rather slow in reading any of their books. So I jumped at joining Dolce Bellezza‘s Japanese Literary Challenge 3 which was a metaphorical kick up the backside and made me read a few books that had been hanging around my TBR shelf. And it was a revelation because I enjoyed everything I read and it was a welcome break from the usual mysteries I can’t seem to keep my hands off. The JLC3 was also the first challenge I joined since I started blogging and it was a wonderful way of meeting so many interesting and charming bloggers and learning about books that I might not have normally gone for. So thank you Bellezza for the challenge and for warmly welcoming me into the blogging world!

For the Japanese Literary Challenge 3 I read the following:

Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino
After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Naomi by Junichiro Tanizaki
The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki

Out of this lot, I think my favourites were Kafka on the Shore for Murakami’s lyrical style and fantastic story and The Makioka Sisters for Tanizaki’s insight into the lives of the four sisters in early 20th century Japan. His modern prose style was a pleasant surprise and I enjoyed it more than I expected.

So, I’ve already started hoarding books for the next JLC4 and can’t wait for it to arrive!

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9 Responses to “Japanese Literature Challenge 3 Wrap-up!”

  1. Bellezza Says:

    Thank you, Chasing Bawa, for joining in. It would not be an enjoyable challenge without the enthusiastic participation of those such as yourself. It was my extreme pleasure to host the JLC3, especially as I feel it not only caused many of us to read outside of what we normally would, but because there were so many friendships made. I’m looking forward to the JLC4 as well, and I’ve added your favorite books to the suggested reading list. Happy Valentine’s Day, by the way!

  2. Mystica Says:

    I was able to get the Makioka Sisters (you mentioned it on a previous post!!!) and am just beginning the story. I really like the style of writing which is quite slow (if there is a description like that) but this is very much up my street. Enjoying the book so far. I hope I can do a review at the end of this book as I think this book is really good.

  3. Melody Says:

    Congrats on finishing the challenge! You had read some great books there!!

  4. eriko Says:

    since i havent read any of the titles on your list(!!), i ve got the 1st vol of ” Sasame-yuki”(The Makioka Sisters) yesterday and started reading it. looking forward to it cos its to do with women’s lives. this story seems worth
    getting the english translation to compare the texture ; )

    • chasing bawa Says:

      I was pretty impressed with the English translation (published by Vintage) – it was smooth and easy to read. I found some old copies of Mishima and Kawabata at home, but forgot to bring them back. This year I’m going to challenge myself to read some Mishima!

  5. Mystica Says:

    I’ve just finished the Makioka Sisters and done a review http://musingsfromsrilanka.blogspot.com.
    I found the book very enjoyable and am looking forward to my next book which I got today. More on that.

  6. gnoegnoe Says:

    I voted for The Makioka Sisters to be read in teh Japanese Book Group on In Spring It Is The Dawn and it made the list! So it’s waiting on my shelf… Good to know you liked it so much!

    We seem to have similar taste 😉 I also loved Kafka on the Shore btw!

    Aargh, I still need to write a wrap-up post for the JLC3! It was fun, wasn’t it? I’m not sure but it could well be that I came to know of your blog through this challenge 🙂

    • chasing bawa Says:

      I’m sure it was! I can’t wait for JLC4. It will be interesting to see what we are all going to read. And I so look forward to your posts on obentos as much as books.


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