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Japanese Novels


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Hi,

Does anyone have any Japanese novels that they can recommend to me? I've studied Japanese for 2 years and I have a pretty good understanding of the language. I think reading Japanese novels will help me improve my Japanese. Any genre is okay, but I'm looking for something I can purchase on Amazon  or some other online retailer. Thanks for the help  :tongue:

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I loved 阪急電車 "Hankyu Densha" which is a love story about two people riding the same train every day and then falling in love. It's based on a true story and it also became a movie two or three years ago! Definitely check it out :)

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I can recommend about any book from Haruki Murakami. As my Japanese is very basic, I couldn't read any of his novels in Japanese yet, however, those books are even great in English or German. I guess in Japanese they are even better. So my recommendations would be (my favorite novel by Haruki Murakami) is 1Q84 (いちきゅうはちよん). Another great one is Kafka on the shore (海辺のカフカ).

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My favorite Japanese writer is Natsuo Kirino. She writes psychological thrillers, very good ones, in my humble opinion. I especially recommend "Grotesque" (グロテスク).

I also like Murakami, but the other Murakami :P Ryuu Murakami also writes thrillers. He's well known in Japan, less so outside of it. He wrote "Audition", which was later adapted into a quite famous movie.

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Thanks for the recommendations everyone! I'll definitely look into it and hopefully find something that interests me :D

My professor recommended Murakami Haruki too, but back then my Japanese was not good enough to read his work. Hopefully now I'll be able to understand ^^

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I can recommend about any book from Haruki Murakami. As my Japanese is very basic, I couldn't read any of his novels in Japanese yet, however, those books are even great in English or German. I guess in Japanese they are even better. So my recommendations would be (my favorite novel by Haruki Murakami) is 1Q84 (いちきゅうはちよん). Another great one is Kafka on the shore (海辺のカフカ).

Slightly off topic I guess, but is "1Q84" a spin off of George Orwell's 1984? Something similar perhaps?

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^I'm not entirely sure, but I think Orwell influenced Murakami to write 1Q84.

I couldn't find most of the books mentioned here on Amazon (Amazon only sells the English versions) so I might have to stop by my local Kinokuniya to look for it.

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  • 1 month later...

1Q84 is definitely one of my favorites. And yes, the novel is very much inspired by George Orwell. Even when read aloud in Japanese, 1Q84 sounds like 1984!

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  • 7 months later...

Haruki Murakami is one of my favorite authors too. You should try checking Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore. Those two are my favorites among his works. :)

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  • 5 months later...

I loved 阪急電車 "Hankyu Densha" which is a love story about two people riding the same train every day and then falling in love. It's based on a true story and it also became a movie two or three years ago! Definitely check it out :)

  Isn't this also known as Densha_Otoko? It's one of my favorite stories. The guy on the train was a complete otaku. To be fair, he wasn't a creepy one like you see portrayed in the media. I know that the movie is based on a novel but I didn't know it was entitled something other than Densha_Otoko. I'm definitely going to check it out once my kanjii is a little bit better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've read Taichi Yamada's In Search of a Distant Voice, in English, but I sure can recommend it. The novel is some 200 pages long (which is not that long, really), has some mystery and elements of the Gothic (a ghostly surreal voice of a woman). It was very inspiring when you try to see in which way these two cultures (the Western and the Eastern) perceive the same. Once the mystery is resolved... we still aren't sure what it is. In his mind only or what? I am curious whether you'll find this interesting. I did.

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Oh! I believe the Durarara series (which is coming out with a second season for it's anime) originally started off as a series of interesting light novels before it became a manga. I tried to read these light novels but it didn't go so well for me since I don't know enough of the language yet to read comfortably. However, it seems like something you might enjoy!

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  Isn't this also known as Densha_Otoko?

Densha Otoko is a "true story" based on the posts from an internet forum. I have not read the book, but watched the movie :vampire: I do not know much about Hankyu Densha , but I think it is a fictional story written by a novelist. Both of them are love stories and in both stories two people first meet on a train or so  :love:

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