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Best Book(s)?

George L.

9 Jan 2004
I am looking for a recommendation for several books...one book for Japanese history, one book for Japanese culture, and one book that is just a really good (maybe famous) Japanese book...the only stipulation for all of this is that it needs to be in english as I can't read Japanese (yet!). If possible I would like the history & culture books to be interesting as possible and not just a regurgitation of facts, names and dates...I tried to read a Japanese history book before and I couldn't get past the first chapter w/o almost falling asleep.

Thanks guys!
I recomend reading "Musashi" by "Eiji Yoshikawa" It contains Japanese History, culture and it kicks ***! I'st extremely famous and popular in Japan. Everyone in Japan knows about Musashi's story, and it was based on a real person too.


As far as I know, Kokoro is a pretty famous book here. It's a bit depressing, but I liked it. It's by Natsume Soseki, who also appears on 1,000 yen notes.:p
i've read kokoro too! its a great book written in early 20th century. very poetic and beautiful. yah.. and kinda sad and lonely.
other famous classic writers includes yasunari kawabata who won a noble prize for literature and junichiro tanizaki who wrote more kinky stories. if you are into classical writers, can find out more about them.

but if you are looking for something more contemporary, try ryu murakami's 'coin locker babies'. powerful and wicked. violent, but i think it reflects also partly the psychic of japanese city people and how the negative effects of modern society, or at least what murakami thinks. that's another depressing story you have there.
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