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Why Japanese Authors? Why Japanese Literature?
By El.N. | October 15, 2017

There is an increasing trend of book lovers’ interest in Japanese literature. But what is the reason behind this trend? Moreover, can we categorize Japanese Literature as anything written by a Japanese author? Although place of birth might be the criterion for some, there is more behind it.

Kazuo Ishiguro who won 2017 Nobel Literature Prize was born in Japan and grown up in Britain, still he reveals effect of Japanese culture in his writing.  "I grew up with a very strong image in my head of this other country, a very important other country to which I had a strong emotional tie ... In England, I was all the time building up this picture in my head, an imaginary Japan," said Ishiguro [1]. Although we cannot categorize literature by where authors crafting it were born, there are certain characteristics in books by Japanese authors.  Reading “The Woman in Dunes” by Kobo Abe, “Remains of The Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro and “ Norwegian Wood “ by Huraki Murakami , takes us to the point that how different each and everyone of these distinguished Japanese authors have written.

At the same time, there is a real grief, true understanding of life and existence that is in all aforementioned books. These fiction books reflect truest stories, we as humans are living everyday. Many criticizers and reviewers have discussed the similarities between Kafka’s writing style and Jappanese literature. However, if we believe that Japanese literature springs from Japanese culture, there is more history behind this culture as Kafka was only born in 1883. In other words, if we accept that twentieth century simplifies communications, this is possible that there were Kafka style authors in Japan before Kafka was born, only we have not heard about them. It does not affect our regard for Kafka as one of the major factors in 20th-century literature. Most Japanese authors are capable of elaborately crafting simple and straightforward works which imply most complicated aspects of life.

Japanese literature is as a shelter for readers who adore fiction and true stories at the same time. Those who want to hear about lives’ true stories from fiction writers who do not ignore lives’ pains or happiness.

[1] Oe, Kenzaburo (1991). "The Novelist in Today's World: A Conversation". boundary 2. 18 (3): 110.