10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

Japanese literature was influenced by Chinese literature at the beginning of its journey and went through many ups and downs in the course of history. An important part of these developments is due to the change of government structure and wars, each of which had positive and negative effects on the face of literature in this country. Among these developments, we can mention the fall of the feudal regime, the war between Japan and Russia, and the Second World War.

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

Japanese literature was influenced by Chinese literature at the beginning of its journey and went through many ups and downs in the course of history. An important part of these developments is due to the change of government structure and wars, each of which had positive and negative effects on the face of literature in this country. Among these developments, we can mention the fall of the feudal regime, the war between Japan and Russia, and the Second World War.

The land of sunny sunshine, although in the first mental image of many people, it is a country of industry, technology and hard work, literature This country, both in terms of qualitative and quantitative patterns, is among the most important in world literature and in terms of richness and age, it is equal to English literature.

What we know today as Japanese literature is a collection of works from the century It includes the seventh BC until now. A noteworthy point in the literature of this country is that the range of literary works created in Japan is not limited to the forms of novels, poems and plays, and some other types such as travelogues, books of scattered thoughts and diaries that are in the shadows in other countries and are not very They are not paid attention to, it has a high place in the literature of this country.

The works created in Japanese language, in terms of style, have such a variety that it is not possible to examine them accurately by simply examining the evolution of the language. .

Some of these styles have been influenced by Chinese vocabulary and grammar, and some others have been created in response to the internal requirements of different generations.

The first works of Japanese literature. It was written under the influence of Chinese literature. The Japanese at this time, culturally, were greatly influenced by Chinese culture and calligraphy.

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

The oldest The found writing is on a sword that belongs to around 440 BC. In this work, with the help of the structure of the Chinese language, Japanese names and concepts are conceptualized.

In the most ancient texts available, Koji Kei (Book of Ancient Subjects) and Nihon Shoki (Japanese Chronicle), there are also poems that Some of them even date back to the fifth century BC.

Most of the myths of today's Japan are recorded in these two works; Works that originate from the ruling class and serve to stabilize and strengthen it.

The importance of genealogies and mythological documents in Japanese culture is so rich that these texts were prepared at least from 6 centuries BC and probably much earlier. And it has been preserved.

It was during the reign of Temu, in the 7th century, that the Japanese emperor decided to reveal the genealogy of all prominent families, so that, like in China, for each, among the different classes, a specific place and titles in view be taken.

The founding of the city of Hian-kyu, which was later renamed Kyoto, was the beginning of a brilliant era in literature; However, the first works of this era were mostly written in Chinese.

It was between 814 and 827 that three anthologies of Chinese poems were published with the support of the wide and long imperial apparatus. For a long time it seemed that writing in Japanese indicated the inferior position of the writer.

At this time, Sugawara Michizane, the great Chinese-language poet, was Japan's best-known ninth-century poet. He brought the brilliance of the Chinese language in Japan to its end with his outstanding poetic style.

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BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

But when he was selected as the cultural representative of the Japanese Embassy in China, he refused to go to China. His reason was that China no longer has anything in its pocket to give to Japan.

This became a turning point for Japan to come out from under the cultural influence of China. In the twelfth century in Japan, a type of literature emerged that belonged to a completely different tradition.

Ken jako mono gatari (Chronological Tales) was a large collection of folk tales and religious tales drawn from various parts of Japan as well as from other sources. Indian and Chinese were taken. Although these stories are crudely written, they allow researchers to obtain information from the common language of the people and their behavior during this period. The wars of the 12th century gave rise to military men whose names He was a samurai. Samurai emphasized a kind of military discipline and respected ancient culture.

Also, the most prominent literary genre of the Middle Ages is gonki mono gatari (war stories). Hilek Monogatari is also the most famous of this literary genre, whose opening lines announce the mortality of all beings with a literary pen.

The first prominent novelist of the new era was Ihara Saikaku. His prose has such a quality that some literary critics place him among the best novelists in the history of Japanese literature.

His first novel, The Life of a Professional Lover, written in 1682, set the stage for Japanese fiction writing. did different Saikaku is the main and reliable figure in the literary renaissance of the 17th century, and it is at this time that modernity is paid more attention than the ancient traditions. Hakai by Shimazaki Tosun, naturalism becomes the main stream of fiction writing in Japan and is inspired by the works of writers such as Zola, a French 19th century writer, and other European naturalists.

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

With the outbreak of World War II, literature in Japan was banned. Censorship was strictly established in this country and the central power expected writers to join the war fronts; But with the end of the war, the era of prosperity of old and new writers begins again, which has continued until today. , Tsuji Kunio, Haruki Murakami, Mori Ogai, Kenji Miyazawa, Yukio Mishima, Natsume Souseki, Yamaoka Suhachi and Eiji Yoshikawa are among the most important writers of various periods of Japanese literature at different times. A new chapter was created in the literature of the land of cherry blossoms. The translation of European literary works began in Japan in the 1860s and continues to this day. One of the important results of the acquaintance of the Japanese with western literature was the promotion of prose in this country, and it can be said that modern Japanese novels and short stories are indebted to western literature.
Japanese literature is an old tree that in some chapters of history has been influenced by eastern and western literature. It has been watered, but at the same time it has given good fruits to world literature. In the following, we review some of the most important literary phenomena in Japan and get acquainted with some of the most well-known literature books of this land.

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I novel; Author-centered novel

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

I novel, which is also known as watakushi shosetsu or shishosetsu, is one It is one of the most important literary genres in Japan, which was formed based on the acceptance of the Japanese from the school of naturalism in the Meiji era and later influenced the literature of other Asian countries. This type of novel is often written in the first person language and the main character of the story is the author himself and narrates events and feelings that are in accordance with his real life. In fact, I novel is a semi-autobiographical and confessional novel and often reveals the dark side of the author's actions and thoughts. "Noville Shiga" and "Osamu Dazai" are among the most important authors of I novel in Japan.

Haiku; Extract from Japanese poetry

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

"Haiku is like an artistic snapshot of a phenomenon" This sentence, which is a quote from a famous Japanese poet, is perhaps the first and most lasting image that is imprinted in the mind of the haiku reader to define this type of poetry.
They follow each other in the form of three units of five, seven and five. One of the main features of this poem is brevity and brevity, and it uses the elements of nature as a metaphor to express a more important truth.
In the haiku poem, the poet avoids all the extra branches of his poem, and his unsaid is much more than what he says. Haiku does not tell a story, but only plants the seed of a narrative in the reader's mind and leaves the rest to the reader's imagination. Masaoka Shiki is one of Japan's famous haiku writers, and the book "Bloody-throated Kokoi" includes his biography and poems. He is the one who published "Itfaq" with the translation of A. Pashaei published.

Japanese haiku examples

Wake up, butterfly...
It's late, far away
Let's go together

(Matsuo Basho)

***

In the autumn gale
how sadly broken
white mulberry branch

(Matsuo Basho)

***

A burden on my shoulder
Sadness on my chest
A tear rolled down my cheek

(Masaoka Shiki)

***

To the one who breaks the branches
They spread fragrance
Plum blossoms

(Fukuda Chiuni)

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Manga; Mirror of Japanese culture

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

Manga is a graphic novel that originated in Japan and is a manifestation of art. It is considered the native culture of this country. The traces of the first Japanese manga date back to the 12th century. In the years after the Second World War, the gates of Japan were opened to American cultural productions and "modern manga" in the style of American animations was formed in this country. But the Japanese Japaneseized modern manga in their country by making fundamental changes in the images and stories. One piece, Dragon Ball, Naruto, Blackjack, and Oshinbo are among the famous Japanese manga. Osamu Tezuka is known as the father of manga in Japan. With his innovations in narrative and illustration, he provided a new model for the new style of "story manga" and television anime. Tezuka combined Western themes with Eastern stories and for the first time created characters that did not resemble Orientals, characters with Big eyes and strange hairstyle. He also made a great contribution to the variety of genres and audiences of this field by using serious themes and complex concepts in his manga.

Undoubtedly, manga is one of the most popular cultural phenomena in Japan, and it is interesting to know that there are cafes in Japan called "Manga cafes" or "Manga ki sa" that have a world of all kinds of manga in their large libraries, and people can enjoy reading their favorite manga while drinking coffee and using other comfort and entertainment facilities of these cafes.

10 prominent writers of contemporary Japanese literature

1- Haruki Murakami

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

He once stated, "While watching a baseball game at Jingo Stadium, I can To write a novel.

Murakami has had a dynamic and successful career, winning awards in Japan and internationally, including the Jerusalem Prize. His works have been translated into more than 50 languages. Murakami is a jazz fan (he and his wife once ran a jazz bar) and owns more than 10,000 jazz albums, which he listens to while writing. One of his most prominent works is "Kafka on the Bank" and "What am I talking about when I talk about running".

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2- Natsu Kirino

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

Natsu Kirino is a writer It is a crime that is perhaps best known for forcing readers to reconsider women's ability to commit violence. Born in 1951, he worked in many different professions before turning to writing, and it wasn't until the 1990s that he found success. His most famous novel, it was a hit in Japan, won a major award for crime fiction, and was an Edgar Award finalist after being translated into English. Although only a handful of his novels have been translated into English and published in the United States, he has written more than 20 novels and short story collections, establishing himself as one of the most famous Japanese authors today. The novel "Outside" is considered one of his most famous works.

3- Kubo Abe

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

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4- Banana Yoshimoto

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

Banana Yoshimoto is an outstanding writer who was born in 1964 in a liberal and artistic family. He was only 23 years old when he published his first novel, "The Kitchen". His novel was very well received and won him the 6th Cain Literary Award for Newcomers and gained his national and international fame in this way. He went on to write 12 other novels and collections of articles, and his works were adapted into Japanese TV shows and movies. Yoshimoto's works often deal with youth, existentialism, and how tragedy can shape our lives. He's also a big fan of food (as his chosen nickname, 'Banana', might suggest) and has been praised for his unpretentious writing. His characters are usually young, but his writing appeals to all ages, as evidenced by his enormous success. Among his most prominent titles are the novels "Kitchen", "Sleeping", "Sun Worshiper" and "Amrita".

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5- Yoko Ogawa

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

Yoko Ogawa, born in 1962, is the author of more than 40 fiction and non-fiction works. However, only a small portion of his work has been translated into English, including his novel The Professor and The Housewife", which was adapted into a film called The Professor's Popular Equation, and "Revenge, a collection of disturbing short stories". His latest title translated into English is "Memory Police", a science fiction novel about a writer who lives on a deserted island.

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6- Sayaka Murata

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

Although she only has one book in English, but Sayaka Murata has written 10 books that are very popular in Japan. Born in 1979, he was an avid reader of science fiction and mystery, and his mother supported his writing from a young age by buying him a typewriter. He first published his first novel in 2003 and immediately started winning awards. Murata has received the Gonzo Award for New Writers, the Yukio Mishima Award, and the Akutagawa Award. He has written in a variety of genres, but his books tend to focus on society, adaptation, and human behavior. His first novel translated into English is "The Shop Woman", narrated by Nancy Wu. His second novel, which is translated into English, is "Zaminiha", which was published in the fall of 2020.

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7- Yukio Mishima

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

Often regarded as one of the most important Japanese writers of the 20th century, Yukio Mishima is also a controversial figure. He was born in 1925 and had an unconventional upbringing. His early attempts at writing were not supported by his father, although his mother often encouraged him. During his life, he wrote and published 34 novels, 50 plays and several short stories. He even wrote and directed some screenplays and worked as a model. He escaped military service during World War II due to illness, but his nationalism was often bipolar. In 1968, he founded the Tatenokai Institute, a private military force to protect the Emperor of Japan. In 1970, he and three members of the Tatnukai staged a coup to restore power to the emperor, and when it failed, he committed a ritual suicide. During Mishima's lifetime, most of his works were published in English and were well received in the Western world. Among his most famous books, we can mention "Sound of Waves", "Spring Snow", "Golden Gazebo Temple" and "Sailor who fell from the favor of the sea". Even 50 years after his death, his work continues to find new audiences.

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8- Ryu Murakami

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

Haruki Murakami is not the only famous Japanese author with the surname Murakami. Born in 1952, Ryo Murakami has had an interesting career beyond writing books. He's been in bands, worked as an independent filmmaker, and founded an online magazine in 1999 that's still going today. He is also a television talk show host and has founded a video streaming service and an e-book service. He has written more than 30 books, many of which are widely translated and available in English. Perhaps her best-known book in the US is The Listener, about a lonely widow who hosts a fake call to find her next mate, but when the perfect candidate shows up, it may hide dark secrets. . This movie became a Japanese horror movie in 1999.

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9- Minato Kanae

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

Kanae Minato is well known in Japan for her crime and mystery novels, and has even been crowned the Queen of Yaamisu novels. Born in 1979, Minato turned to writing at the age of 30 and became successful with his first works. Since then, he has written 14 novels, although only two have been translated into English and are available in the United States: Confessions and Repentance. The novel Confessions won the Alex Award and was nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award. A Japanese movie was also made based on the novel Repentance.

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10- Keigo Higashino

BingMag.com 10 prominent Japanese authors that lovers of contemporary Japanese literature should know

Kigo Higashino, born in 1958, is not only one of the most famous mystery writers in Japan, but in all of Asia. He went to school to study electrical engineering but started writing in high school and never stopped. Even after school, while working as an engineer, he wrote nights and weekends and submitted his stories to be judged for the Edgawa Ramapo Prize. He won the award in 1984 and gave up engineering to become a full-time writer. Almost every one of his novels has been made into a TV show or movie in Japan, and his book Naoko was made into a movie called The Secret starring David Duchovny.

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