Flyaway Friday: Books set in Japan

May 24, 201920 comments

I am so excited for this post. Yes let us talk about books set in Japan, one of the countries that I am kinda creepily obsessed about, under the Flyaway Friday feature. Can you blame me?

What is Flyaway Friday?

Ok let us back up a bit first. 

On Fridays, I take you guys virtually to a new country, recommend books set in that country and the most exciting part of all, have a blogger from that country to tell us more about living there and help us compare what we read or see in books or movies with the reality as they see. So far we have been to Netherlands,France, Finland, Italy and Philippines.  

Let us talk about books set in #Japan, one of the countries that I am kinda creepily obsessed about, under the #FlyawayFriday feature. Click To Tweet

My favorite books set in Japan

Now that pesky introduction has been done with, let us jump on to the topic

Books set in Japan

This epic family drama follows a Korean family that migrates into the imperialist Japan. We witness the WW II, division of Korea and the post war lives of the millions of Korean migrants in Japan through their eyes. 

The author is a master storyteller that interweaves the prejudice, discrimination and racism in the society into this four generational saga. 

Books set in Japan

This list is incomplete if I don’t mention Murakami. Kafka Tamura, a teenager runs away from his house in search of his long lost sister and his mother. Nakata, our second character survives by finding lost cats with his ability to talk to cats. Though they are physically close to each other, their lives are interwoven.

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This surreal, poignant story will leave you with lots of hows and whys and wondering long after you finished it. 

Books set in Japan

Kitchen talks about love, tragedy and grief in the loves of a young woman, who longs for a kitchen and the warmth of a home.

This novella stands out for its simplicity that will tug your heart. The simplistic narration talks about ordinary people leading a mundane life but had a profound effect on me. 

Read my review of Kitchen here.

Books set in Japan

It is not often that I recommend a thriller in these posts but I have to add Soji Shimada because I am a sucker for such closed room murders.

This whodunnit is set in a crooked maze house of a millionaire who invites eight guests on a snowy night. Once everyone has settled for the night, several weird things start to happen. And the following morning, a guest is found dead inside his locked room. Who and how was it done?

Books set in Japan

Set in Tokyo before the WWI, the author’s cat who is the main character wanders around their neighborhood, judging and making fun of its owner and the world. This satirical commentary of the society will not fail to make you chuckle.

If you are interested to read a satire account of 1900s Japanese life and culture, pick this P G Wodehose-eseque book up right away.

Books set in Japan

Sayoko is a 17 year girl living in a remote fishing village during the end of the war. The presence of the American troops looms as a sinister to the villagers and four of them pull Sayoko into the woods to rape her.

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The novel follows the ramification of the event of everyone around them and a young man who promises to avenge it. The story will leave a punch in your stomach!

Not enough?

Here are some more books that almost made my list.

Pin me!

Books set in Japan

Let’s chat

Have you read any of these? What is the last book you have read set in Japan? Do you like reading translated works? Let us talk.

20 Comments

  1. Jenn @ Bound to Writing

    Great list, Gayathri! I love learning about books set in different places other than the US.

    Reply
  2. theorangutanlibrarian

    Awesome list! I’m really looking forward to checking out Pachinko 🙂

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Let me know how you like it.

      Reply
  3. Adele

    Kafka on the shore and The sound of waves are some of my favs 🙂

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I am yet to read both of them!

      Reply
  4. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer

    oooh This is a great list Gayathri! You always have the most intriguing books on your list!! We need to buddy read sometime, it would be neat to see what you’d pick. Now I’m off to goodreads to add some of these. ❤️

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      YES, we should do a buddy read soon. And thank you!

      Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thank you, I hope you enjoy it.

      Reply
  5. Robin Taylor

    Haven’t read any of these, but I appreciate the list.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thank you!

      Reply
  6. Whispering Stories

    I’ve not read any of the book, most I hadn’t even heard of. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Hope you will like them as well!

      Reply
  7. DJ Sakata

    I haven’t read these, thanx for the info

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thank you!

      Reply
    • Gayathri

      Check them out!

      Reply
    • Gayathri

      I am glad to have introduced them to you!

      Reply
  8. Sam@wlabb

    I have not read any of these, but I am happy to say, I have recently read two books set in Japan – Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo and I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn. Both authors did such a wonderful job showing me around Japan.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Oh I am gonna check them out right away!

      Reply

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  1. Dani's Bulletin Board #22 - Week of June 2nd-8th - Perspective of a Writer - […] posts about books set in the UK and Japan! These book recommendations pair really great with my summer reads…

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Hello there!

Gayathri loves reading, recommending books and talking about bookish things in real life. Her blog is just an extension of that habit. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she freelances as a beta reader. She lives currently in Dubai.Head over to meet me

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