In most of the previous years I consumed Murakami with a passion. Now I can really boast that I have almost read everything he's done - fiction and non fiction.
So this year I've sought out some different authors and styles - and have any another interesting and engaging experience of Japanese Literature. Snow Country, for me was a little weak on interest and plot - but was immensely beautiful in descriptors of the country, the activities and relationships. The author, (I found) Yasunari Kawabata was a Japanese short story writer and novelist whose spare, lyrical, subtly-shaded prose works won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, the first Japanese author to receive the award. His works have enjoyed broad international appeal and are still widely read. And this is something else I can boast - to have read a Nobel prize winner..
Mistress Oriku: Stories from a Tokyo Teahouse, by Matsutaro Kawaguchi, translated by Royall Tyler is set in Meiji-era Japan, this is the story of the sensitive, compassionate and indomitable Mistress Oriku. Formerly involved in the pleasure trades of Tokyo, Mistress Oriku leaves that life behind to run an elegant teahouse on the city's outskirts. But despite her hopes for a quieter, less hectic life, she finds she can't escape her involvement in the city's creative, intellectual and political circles [borrowed from Goodreads.com].
I really enjoyed this story about an older women who knew her place in society and her influence, but also enjoyed the company of men. I was impressed by her character and a little envious of the Japanese Culture that allows women such a place.
(sorry for the bad image).. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, by Yukio Mishima, Ivan Morris (Translation). In The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, celebrated Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima creates a haunting portrait of a young man's obsession with idealized beauty and his destructive quest to possess it fully. [borrowed from Goodreads.com].
Based on a real incident that occurred in 1950, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion brilliantly portrays the passions and agonies of a young man in postwar Japan, bringing to the subject the erotic imagination and instinct for the dramatic moment that marked Mishima as one of the towering makers of modern fiction.
I haven't got anything good to say about this book - I never finished it. Too depressing. Again, that's something I've learned about Japanese writings - it can be all too real!
I'm yet to finish all the stories in 'The Izu Dancer and other stories' but the Izu Dancer was written by Kawabata (the one who wrote snow country) and I can say his style was much the same in this short story. Very description, almost poetic for me, simple in structure, and based on the country side and activities of the everyday. See - now I can boast I've read two of his works!
This is on my e reader, so I pick up these stories when I'm on the train. I'm sure I'll get through the others soon.
So that's another episode of Japanese Literature Challenge hosted by Dolce Bellezza. See the challenge site here for all the other amazing entries.
Before I sign off though, I want to say a huge thank you to my fellow challengees because with out your wonderful reviews, I wouldn't know where to start on choosing my books. I look forward to joining you all again next Challenge (which usually start July through to January).