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Write Japanese novels and level of Japanese?

Muz1234

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Do you have to be at around N1 level to write a Japanese novel or a story? There are so many Kanji to be used if a writer writes a novel in Japanese, correct?
 
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You can easily write a children's book without using a single kanji. In fact most children's books are written in kana alone.
 

mdchachi

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How about "normal" books? Do they mostly stick to the 常用漢字?
 

Toritoribe

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Not really. 常用漢字 is just a guideline basically for official documents. It's not something like rules all people have to follow. In fact, newspaper companies have their own standards that are different from 常用漢字.
平野敬一郎 won a famous literary award Akutagawa Prize by 日蝕 in 1998. He intentionally used so many uncommon kanji and kanji compound words for an effect in the novel. A selection committee member, who was also a novelist, said that she had had to look up many words frequently in the dictionary to read it.

Do you have to be at around N1 level to write a Japanese novel or a story?
JLPT is a test for the reading and listening ability, not writing. N1 might not be enogh, or N2 might be enough. It totally depends on the writer or the works.

There are so many Kanji to be used if a writer writes a novel in Japanese, correct?
The total amount of used kanji has nothing to do with the works. There are novels or poems for adults written only in hiragana, or ones for children with many kanji (there is no problem for that since writers can put okurigana for difficult kanji).
 

nice gaijin

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I'd start with what kind of book you'd want to write, and read as many of them as you can. If you can't read them, you probably can't write them. If you don't have a specific story in mind, perhaps you can practice (and test yourself) by taking a story in your native tongue and try to translate it into Japanese.

Consider why you want to write in Japanese; is it because you just want to practice the language, or is there a deeper reason? For instance, when I read Haruki Murakami's books, I'm inspired by the magical realism he uses, and it makes me want to write similar stories, but without a strong preference for language; when I read Kotaro Isaka's books, I'm more inspired by his prose--the way he expresses himself--and it makes me want to emulate that style specifically in Japanese. So if you're in the latter camp, what about Japanese allows you to tell the story/express yourself better?
 

Majestic

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Writing a novel requires a level of understanding that goes beyond a kanji count.
Memorizing kanji and using a language skillfully are two different things. Slightly related, perhaps, but different.
 
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