Thursday, May 31, 2012

Japanese Literature Challenge 6


JLC6 #3 (1)June the 1st is one of those days that are marked & highlighted with the largest  crayon from my colouring box. The reason for this degree of interest is that this is the opening date of what has, over the years, become one of my favourite challenges,by someone who is not only a favourite supporter of literature, but also a friend & constant source of inspiration. June the 1st is Japanese Challenge (#6) day, run by the wonderful Bellezza and in anticipation I’ve been stockpiling a few posts since the previous  one closed, here are the ones so far accumulated…

Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s - In Praise of Shadows (A Contemplation)

in praise of shadowsIn Praise of Shadows is an essay on aesthetics by one of my favourite Japanese writers, it was originally published in 1933, with the English translation coming out in 1977. This is a tiny book of less than fifty pages, containing a foreword  and an afterword, making the essay itself only  forty-two pages long, which means it can be read in one sitting, although that would be defeating the point of it, this should be savoured, this book should be read and re-read, should be immersed in.




Black Rain–Masuji Ibuseblack rain

This book started as a serialization in the magazine Shincho (Shinchosha Publishing Co, Ltd) in January 1965. Masuji Ibuse used historical records and the diaries of survivors to reconstruct the experience of the devastation caused by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Early Sci-Fi, Nihon (にほん) Style .

the-best-japanese-science-fiction-storiesIn the introduction to this anthology John L. Apostolou, gives us a brief history of this genre in Japan, some of which I’ve used here. He the goes on to say that  apart from a few exceptions, before this book it was nigh on impossible to find Japanese Science Fiction, making this anthology most peoples first encounter with Japanese SF.

Also as part of this challenge, I intend to post on the history of post war Japanese poetry, also on Haiku (history & art of), plus a selection of writers that I’ve been compiling, hoarding & gathering in readiness.

Challenges Page.


  1. Parrish, here is a great big kiss all the way from Illinois for you and your friendship and your support and your list of books to read. Mwah!

    Now, on to your list...I've not heard of in Praise of Shadows; how interesting that it's so short. I love those kinds of books, to savor slowly as Japanese literature should be.

    I've long been meaning to read Black Rain. Thanks for the reminder! Although, it worries me that it will be quite distressing...

    Sci-fi and Japan somehow seem to go together. That, and thrillers, and bizarre dream-like happenings are what I love in this genre.

    Thanks so much for your input, and title suggestions. I'm so excited to begin this adventure with you!

  2. The Japanese Literature Challenge Three in 2009 opened up a whole new world of reading for me-

  3. This has definitely got my attention now too! Time to enter a new world. Cheers!

  4. I'm hoping to read 'Black Rain' as it's also Caroline's choice for the Literature and War Readalong in July. As for the Tanizaki, I'm tempted, but it's a very small book...

  5. Parrish, I'm glad you're participating in this reading challenge, one which I also adore. Interesting reading choices here!

  6. Hello Parrish!

    Brilliant blog! loved it a lot. I've only recently started dabbling in Japanese Literature, and I'm liking it a lot.
    Following your blog now. Would love to read you frequently.
    Thank you for visiting Rivers I Have Known. Please do follow so that you can visit again :)

  7. ciao Bellezza, thanks for running this challenge, as to Black Rain yes it's dark but as I state somewhere it also has humour.

    Hi Mel, totally agree with you, this challenge opened up a whole world for me.

    Hi Kevin, enjoy a whole world of fantastic literature, check the J-lit site for a list of wonderful writers, or if unsure just ask.

    Hi Tony, check this out & if you like,
    then make your choice.

    Hi Suko, I'm taking it that you're in as well, so will delight in following your selections.

    Hello Amritorupa, hopefully you've signed up for this challenge as well, so I can follow your choices.

  8. I ve a couple of choice ,but wanting to find some new writers to try ,thanks for sharing some new ones to me Gary ,all the best stu

  9. The sharing is mutual, thanks in return.


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Thanks, Parrish.