Three Interesting Spring Novels by Japanese Authors

book cover collageSpring is called haru 春 in Japanese. The spring season goes from March to May with its peak in late April and early May, highlight is the Golden Week as a national holiday.

Spring is associated with a new beginning, starting a new life and nature awakening from sleep. In Japan you see cherry blossoms, plum blossoms and hear chirping birds.

It is the time of hanami 花見 (cherry blossom viewing). Normally there are a couple of festivals held in spring. Some of the best known are for example the following matsuri.

A spring festival celebrated in Tokyo is the Sanja Matsuri. It is one of the biggest festivals with about 100 floats and a big crowd around the Senso-ji, normally on the 3rd weekend in May. (Here are some pictures to get an impression about the crowd and the festivities. link to: https://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/sanja-matsuri-Tokyos-biggest-and-wildest-festival).

Aoi Matsuri is celebrated in Kyôto on the May15th at the Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine (for more information see pictures and explanation at https://matcha-jp.com/en/3892).

The charming Takayama Spring Festival is normally held on April 14th and 15th every year. See some pictures at  https://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/takayama-spring-festival and https://matcha-jp.com/en/4233.

Thinking of spring, the following Japanese novels come to mind.

The Old Capital by Kawabata Yasunari
What is it about?
It is the most famous Japanese book by the Nobel prize winner. The love story begins in spring and takes place in extremely popular places at Kyôto.
Title in Japanese: 古都, 1962
Read the full review on Japan Kaleidoskop

Spring Snow by Mishima Yukio
What is it about?
‘Spring Snow’ is the story of a young man, Matsugae Kiyoaki, placed in Tokyo of 1912. He was raised in the family tradition of the aristocracy. He falls in love with the elegant and sophisticated Ayakura Satoko.
Title in Japanese:  春の雪, 1968
Read the full review on Japan Kaleidoskop

Hear the Wind Sing by Murakami Haruki
What is it about?
‘Hear the Wind Sing’ is the first novel of Murakami Haruki published in the literary magazine ‘Gunzo’ in 1979 and won the ‘Gunzo Prize for New Writers’.
Title in Japanese: 風の歌を聴け
Read the full review on Japan Kaleidoskop

Reading in October

In October people visiting Japan Kaleidoskop were mostly interested in Japanese Literature. As in the month before the two mostly read book reviews were the same as in the month before.

Men without women by Murakami Haruki  and Thousand Cranes by Kawabata Yasunari.

Two titles of Tanizaki Jun’ichirô  are on the third  and fourth place. Books I personally adore: The Makikoka Sisters followed by Naomi.

And  surprisingly for the first time people were much interested in reading the book review of Hiromi Kawakami’s The Nakano Thrift Store  which is a fun book to read.

I am currently reading Murakami’s 1Q84 and Yukio Mishima’s  Thirst for Love, probably I will finish the last soon and will write a review here.

My readers came mostly from this countries, in this order:

  1. The United States
  2. Phillipines
  3. Japan
  4. Germany
  5. Netherlands
  6. Canada

There were many searches on Japan Kaleidoskop and I am very happy, that you enjoy my blog and that it is useful for many readers.

Surprisingly ‘Dreaming of Kimchee‘ was searched for several times. And first I did not know, what is was. But then I remembered: It is a short story of Banana Yoshimoto in her book Lizard.

My favorite search term of October is ‘Japanese woman holding a lantern‘, which probably was not found, because there is no tag like this. But there is a very lovely picture of Suzuki Harunobu (c. 1725-1770) on this blog. It was on Art on Tuesday on January 7th, 2014.

Thank you for visiting and reading Japan Kaleidoskop. I wish you a happy autumn!

Plumblossom

Readings in August

I am surprised, that the visitors of Japan Kaleidoskop preferred reading exactly the same posts about Japanese books as in June and in July 2015. I skipped writing about it in July for this reason, because I thought, it was a little redundant.

I guess it has something to do with algorithm and how often something is mentioned on the blog and not really only about taste in Japanese Literature. Maybe it has also something to do with fewer postings on my blog about Japanese books in the summer. Never the less I am currently reading ‘Geisha in Rivalry’ by Nagai Kafû. And the next post will be about this exciting book.

In August people also liked to read posts about Naomi and the Makioka Sisters of Tanizaki Jun’ichirô and of course Yukiguni by Kawabata Yasunari. And least about  All she was worth by Miyabe Miyuki,  who is a well-known contemporary author and I think quite interesting.

What did I learn from the statistics then? Most of my visitors came from the United States, the Philippines and from Japan. Thank you very much!

Most often visited was the lovely picture of  Katsushika Oi.

Katsushika_Oi_CherryBloosom

 

Readings in June

In June readers of Japan Kaleidoskop were mostly interested in Japanese Literature and again the book reviews:

1. Most of my visitors read the book review of Men Without Women by Murakami Haruki as in May 2015. So this title is on the first place again due to the popularity of the author’s latest book.

2. On the second place there is a surprise: It is Thousand Cranes by Kawabata Yasunari. The title has been searched for several times in this month, but never before June. In the past many visitors were looking for Yukiguni by Kawabata instead. But it is still the same author on the second place. Kawabata Yasunari was born in June 11, 1899 in Ôsaka.

3. The third most read book review on this blog was Seven Japanese Tales by Tanizaki Jun’ichirô. One of my personal favorite Japanese author.

Although most of the search terms are not visible anymore, there were some, which gave me a hint, of what my visitors were looking for.

I liked the search term: “courtesan reading poet ono no komachi biography” very much. It is an ukiyo e by Kikugawa Eizan 菊川 英山 (1787 – 1867) chosen for this blog’s Art on Tuesday series on November 14, 2014.

eizan

 

Readings in May

I began to look more at my statistics and think it is interesting to think about what my visitors are looking for and what they actually read and like. In May people visiting Japan Kaleidoskop were mostly interested in the book reviews. Here are the top three:

1. Men without Women by Murakami Haruki. I guess it is because it is the newest book of Murakami, that people look it up often. Many visitors come to this post via search engines.

2. Snow Country  by Kawabata Yasunari is on the second place and is searched for very often during the last months. Interesting, that most people are looking for it in Japanese as Yukiguni. It seems to be an all time favorite.

3. Diary of a Mad Old Man by Tanizaki Jun’ichirô is the latest book review on Japan Kaleidoskop and was of a certain interest.

My favorite search term was “japanese scroll with geisha girl with umbrella in the winter”

I think,  it looks like this:

snowbeauty