Reviews

Episode 9: The Women Writers of Meiji Japan

Check out Episode 9 of the Read Japanese Literature podcast. In the last episode, we talked about the coming of the West and the way it impacted Japanese literature. This time we’re talking about women as they take up a prominent position in the story of Japanese literature for the first time in almost 1000 […]

Episode 8: Meiji Literature and Japan’s Most Famous Literary Cat

Check out Episode 8 of the Read Japanese Literature podcast. In this episode, we’re looking at the Meiji Era of Japanese history and its literature. The shogunate is replaced. Japan looks outward to the West and inward toward itself. And a man named Natsume Sōseki chronicles it all from the perspective of a stray cat. […]

Episode 7: Kaidan—Japan’s Ghost Stories

Check out Episode 7 of the Read Japanese Literature podcast. In this episode, we’ll be talking about Ueda Akinari and his Tales of Moonlight and Rain, some of the most influential Japanese ghost stories ever written. A raging intellectual debate A supernatural party game And a friend just dying to keep his promises Support this […]

Audiobooks of Japanese Literature in Translation

Kobo Abe The Woman in the Dunes Translated by E. Dale Saunders Narrated by Julian Cihi Hiro Arikawa The Traveling Cat Chronicles Translated by Philip Gabriel Narrated by George Bladden Osamu Dazai No Longer Human Translated by Donald Keene Narrated by David Shih The Setting Sun Translated by Donald Keene Narrated by June Angela Wish […]

Episode 6: High and Low Literature in Edo Japan

Check out Episode 6 of the Read Japanese Literature podcast. This episode is marked mature. How does “this fleeting world” transform from a Buddhist precept to a name for the red-light district? What did reading look like in early Modern Japan? And how many dildos does a man need to pack for a trip to […]

Episode 5: Setsuwa and Medieval Japanese Buddhism

Check out Episode 5 of the Read Japanese Literature podcast. Enjoy the story of a vengeful would-be lover who turns into a 40-foot snake, a sharp-witted woman with criticisms of her husband’s equipment, and a curmudgeonly Buddhist priest who learns to love poetry. In this episode, we’re talking about setsuwa—medieval Japanese anecdotes. Many of them […]

Episode 4: Yoshitsune Ballads and Tomoe Drama

Check out the Read Japanese Literature podcast. We’re talking about two central genres of Medieval Japanese literature—the warrior ballad and Noh drama. We’ll see two characters from The Tale of the Heike again, including the valiant female warrior Tomoe. This time, she’s a mournful ghost. Support this podcast by buying your books from Bookshop.org. Ataka […]

2022 Upcoming Japanese Fiction Releases

Dates listed are the earliest tentative release dates I can find in the US or UK. Descriptions are excerpted from book sellers’ or publishers’ websites. Translators are listed unless I wasn’t able to find information. Please contact me if I have missed any titles. Thank you to the Goodreads Japanese Literature Group for pooling information. […]

Episode 3: The Tale of the Heike

Check out the Read Japanese Literature podcast. Episode 3: The Tale of the Heike—The great samurai epic and the rise of the samurai class. Support this podcast by buying your copy of The Tale of the Heike from Bookshop.org.  Find Out More A. L. Sadler’s text of The Tale of the Heike (free online) Website […]

Episode 2: The Tale of Genji

Check out the Read Japanese Literature podcast. Episode 2: The Tale of Genji—The world’s oldest novel. A hero who is a paragon of beauty with an extreme Oedipus complex. (CW: sex, rape, incest, pedophilia.) Support this podcast by buying your copy from Bookshop.org.  Find Out More Project Gutenberg: The Tale of Genji. The full on-line […]

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