Japan. Whenever I try to explain why I want to go travelling to Japan, I feel like I sound like a stereotypical traveller with no real sense of why I want to go here other than an image of a country I’ve gained from media… and, I also think it’s beautiful.
But, once I realised how lacking my knowledge was, and coupled with sincere jealousy that a friend of mine at work is off to Japan having scored great tickets there recently, I got to thinking about Japan’s literature and went looking for some Japanese authors (some translations) I would like to read.
These gems cover everything from manga to vampires to crime. And, a PI in feudal Japan written by an author who is American, but I couldn’t resist adding her series to this list.
Here we go:
Vampire Hunter D: YES. Hello, vampires and a world after 300 years of living under their rule. This isn’t a story about vampires, but their hunters. And the villages in Japan that need hunters to protect them — but, what if the hunter is as dangerous too? And it comes with illustrations!
The Devotion of Suspect X: Is book 3 in the Detective Galileo series, but the most acclaimed of said series. This one isn’t an investigation to unmask a killer, but it’s a battle of wits between said killer and an investigator. Also, from the blurb, I find myself hoping the killer gets away with it. There’s also something Holmesian about it all.
Laura Joh Rowland: Started writing her series set in feudal Japan in the 1990s, and it follows Sano Ichiro, who ascends to the position of private investigator for a shogun, and I cannot say this enough investigates crimes in feudal Japan. I WANT.
This was a fascinating article on the crime genre in Japan and it details the defining work in each age of the genre. BUT, it also includes manga, namely on 17-year-old Detective Conan. I love this. LOVE. And, the article points out how popular this character is across adult readers as well.
Battle Royale: This is very Hunger Games, extremely Hunger Games from the sounds of it. While I do have Hunger Games fatigue, I am curious about this one.
Now, that I know which authors I should read, I am going to get off my arse and actually read more about the country in question. Nods.
Which ones strike your fancy? Is there any country and its authors that you would like to learn more about?