Fiction

Popular Hits of the Showa Era: A Novel | ,

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From the author of Audition, a wickedly satirical and wildly funny tale of an intergenerational battle of the sexes. In his most irreverent novel yet, Ryu Murakami creates a rivalry of epic proportions between six aimless youths and six tough-as-nails women who battle for control of a Tokyo neighborhood. At the outset, the young men seem louche but harmless, their activities limited to drinking, snacking, peering at a naked neighbor through a window, and performing karaoke. The six "aunties" are fiercely independent career women. When one of the boys executes a lethal ambush of one of the women, chaos ensues. The women band together to find the killer and exact revenge. In turn, the boys buckle down, study physics, and plot to take out their nemeses in a single blast. Who knew that a deadly "gang war" could be such fun? Murakami builds the conflict into a hilarious, spot-on satire of modern culture and the tensions between the sexes and generations..

Fiction

Tokyo Decadence | R. Murakami

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A cream-of-the-crop selection of Murakami's brilliance and piercing wit. This collection shows sides of Ryu Murakami that even avid fans may not be expecting. The intriguing, somewhat disturbing stories that Topaz was based on are included here, as are three entertaining and revealing portraits of the artist as a young man back in the Transparent Blue period of the late sixties and early seventies. We hear tales told by four very different individuals living in eighties Tokyo, each with his or her own problems but all with a thing about a certain pro baseball player, and we meet a brokenhearted young woman who finds an unexpected moment of love in the nineties and a single mother who stumbles on a ray of hope in the hard times of the noughties. Mixed in there somewhere are three linked stories about desire and obsession, with the timeless, seductive rhythms of Cuban music in the background. This book contains explicit content and is not suitable for minors. About the author: Ryu Murakami was not yet 24 when he won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for his debut novel, Almost Transparent Blue. He has now published some forty best-selling novels, a dozen short-story collections, an armful of picture books, and a small mountain of essays. In his spare time, Ryu hosts a popular and long-running weekly TV show focusing on business and economic topics, and has for many years promoted tours and produced records for Cuban musicians. He has written and directed five feature films, of which Topaz a.k.a. Tokyo Decadence (1992) is probably the best known, and many of his novels have been made into films by other directors (notably Takashi Miike's Audition). Translated novels include Coin Locker Babies (Noma Prize for New Writers), Sixty-Nine, Popular Hits of the Showa Era, Audition, In the Miso Soup (Yomiuri Prize for Literature), Piercing, and From the Fatherland, with Love (Noma Prize for Literature and Mainichi Publishing Culture Award)..

Fiction

Piercing | Ryu Murakami

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A pulsating cult-favorite psycho-thriller soon to be a major motion picture starring Christopher Abbott and Mia Wasikowska *One of Literary Hub's "Ten Works of Literary Horror You Should Read (Even if You Don't Think You Like Horror)"* Kawashima Masayuki is a successful graphic designer living in Tokyo with his loving wife, Yoko, and their baby girl. Outwardly, their lives are a picture of happiness and contentment, but every night while his wife sleeps Kawashima creeds from him bed and watches over the baby’s crib with an ice pick in his hand and an almost visceral desire to use it. One night, as this struggle unfolds once more, Kawashima makes a decision to confront his demons and sets into motion an uncontrollable chain of events seeming to lead inexorably to murder. The follow-up to In the Miso Soup from a cult favorite writer, Piercing confirms Murakami as the master of the psycho thriller—terrifying, sickening, and utterly gripping.

Fiction

Audition | Ryu Murakami

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The long-awaited translation of the novel behind the cult classic Japanese movie. In this gloriously over-the-top tale, Aoyama, a widower who has lived alone with his son ever since his wife died seven years before, finally decides it is time to remarry. Since Aoyama is a bit rusty when it comes to dating, a filmmaker friend proposes that, in order to attract the perfect wife, they do a casting call for a movie they don’t intend to produce. As the résumés pile up, only one of the applicants catches Aoyama’s attention—Yamasaki Asami—a striking young former ballerina with a mysterious past. Blinded by his instant and total infatuation, Aoyama is too late in discovering that she is a far cry from the innocent young woman he imagines her to be. The novel’s fast-paced, thriller conclusion doesn’t spare the reader as Yamasaki takes off her angelic mask and reveals what lies beneath..

Fiction

Hotel Iris | Yoko Ogawa

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A tale of twisted love from Yoko Ogawa—author of The Diving Pool and The Housekeeper and the Professor. In a crumbling seaside hotel on the coast of Japan, quiet seventeen-year-old Mari works the front desk as her mother tends to the off-season customers. When one night they are forced to expel a middle-aged man and a prostitute from their room, Mari finds herself drawn to the man's voice, in what will become the first gesture of a single long seduction. In spite of her provincial surroundings, and her cool but controlling mother, Mari is a sophisticated observer of human desire, and she sees in this man something she has long been looking for. The man is a proud if threadbare translator living on an island off the coast. A widower, there are whispers around town that he may have murdered his wife. Mari begins to visit him on his island, and he soon initiates her into a dark realm of both pain and pleasure, a place in which she finds herself more at ease even than the translator. As Mari's mother begins to close in on the affair, Mari's sense of what is suitable and what is desirable are recklessly engaged. Hotel Iris is a stirring novel about the sometimes violent ways in which we express intimacy and about the untranslatable essence of love..

Comics & Graphic Novels

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle | Kagiji Kumanomata

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Winter has come, and Princess Syalis will do anything to stay warm, including creating a DIY magical device (known as a “Ko-tatsu”), knitting woolen underwear and trying to convince the castle blacksmith to make her a window to keep out the drafts. When she accidentally dies yet again—along with Stamper Cat—curious resurrection complications ensue. Then it’s Christmas and New Year’s! Who will the Demon King designate as naughty or nice? And will all of the other demons let poor Syalis join in any demon games...? And now the Demon King has insomnia! -- VIZ Media.

Fiction

The Book of Tokyo | Hideo Furukawa,Kaori Ekuni,Mitsuyo Kakuta,Banana Yoshimoto,Toshiyuki Horie,Nao-Cola Yamazaki,Hitomi Kanehara,Osamu Hashimoto,Hiromi Kawakami,Shuichi Yoshida

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The Book of Tokyo - Hideo Furukawa,Kaori Ekuni,Mitsuyo Kakuta,Banana Yoshimoto,Toshiyuki Horie,Nao-Cola Yamazaki,Hitomi Kanehara,Osamu Hashimoto,Hiromi Kawakami,Shuichi Yoshida Preview:

A shape-shifter arrives at Tokyo harbour in human form, set to embark on an unstoppable rampage through the city’s train network… A young woman is accompanied home one night by a reclusive student, and finds herself lured into a flat full of eerie Egyptian artefacts… A man suspects his young wife’s obsession with picnicking every weekend in the city’s parks hides a darker motive… At first, Tokyo appears in these stories as it does to many outsiders: a city of bewildering scale, awe-inspiring modernity, peculiar rules, unknowable secrets and, to some extent, danger. Characters observe their fellow citizens from afar, hesitant to stray from their daily routines to engage with them. But Tokyo being the city it is, random encounters inevitably take place – a naïve book collector, mistaken for a French speaker, is drawn into a world he never knew existed; a woman seeking psychiatric help finds herself in a taxi with an older man wanting to share his own peculiar revelations; a depressed divorcee accepts an unexpected lunch invitation to try Thai food for the very first time… The result in each story is a small but crucial change in perspective, a sampling of the unexpected yet simple pleasure of other people’s company. As one character puts it, ‘The world is full of delicious things, you know.’.

Fiction

Real World | Natsuo Kirino

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In a crowded Tokyo suburb, four teenage girls indifferently wade their way through a hot, smoggy summer. When one of them, Toshi, discovers that her nextdoor neighbor has been brutally murdered, the girls suspect the killer is the neighbor's son. But when he flees, taking Toshi's bike and cell phone with him, the four girls get caught up in a tempest of dangers that rise from within them as well as from the world around them. Psychologically intricate and astute, Real World is a searing, eye-opening portrait of teenage life in Japan unlike any we have seen before..

Fiction

Grotesque | Natsuo Kirino

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Life at the prestigious Q High School for Girls in Tokyo exists on a precise social axis: a world of insiders and outsiders, of haves and have-nots. Beautiful Yuriko and her unpopular, unnamed sister exist in different spheres; the hopelessly awkward Kazue Sato floats around among them, trying to fit in.Years later, Yuriko and Kazue are dead — both have become prostitutes and both have been brutally murdered. Natsuo Kirino, celebrated author of Out, seamlessly weaves together the stories of these women’s struggles within the conventions and restrictions of Japanese society. At once a psychological investigation of the pressures facing Japanese women and a classic work of noir fiction, Grotesque is a brilliantly twisted novel of ambition, desire, beauty, cruelty, and identity by one of our most electrifying writers..

History

A Brief History of the Samurai | Jonathan Clements

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'Clements has a knack for writing suspenseful sure-footed conflict scenes: His recounting of the Korean invasion led by samurai and daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi reads like a thriller. If you're looking for a samurai primer, Clements' guide will keep you on the hook' Japan Times, reviewed as part of an Essential Reading for Japanophiles series From a leading expert in Japanese history, this is one of the first full histories of the art and culture of the Samurai warrior. The Samurai emerged as a warrior caste in Medieval Japan and would have a powerful influence on the history and culture of the country from the next 500 years. Clements also looks at the Samurai wars that tore Japan apart in the 17th and 18th centuries and how the caste was finally demolished in the advent of the mechanized world..

Fiction

Frisk | Dennis Cooper

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Second in the award-winning George Miles Cycle, “as intense a dissection of human relationships and obsession that modern literature has ever attempted” (The Guardian). When Dennis is thirteen, he sees a series of photographs of a boy apparently unimaginably mutilated. Dennis is not shocked but stunned by their mystery and their power; their glimpse at the reality of death. Some years later, Dennis meets the boy who posed for the photographs. He did it for love. Surrounded by images of violence, the celebrity of horror, news of disease, a wasteland of sex, Dennis flies to Europe, having discovered some clues about the photographs: “I see these criminals on the news who’ve killed someone methodically, and they’re free. They know something amazing. You can just tell.” An isolated windmill in Holland provides the perfect setting for Dennis to find out more about bodies—of which there are many—and what is inside them. In Frisk, as in the award-winning Closer, Dennis Cooper explores the limits of our knowledge and the dividing line between the body and the spirit. Frisk is a novel about the power of fantasy and faith, about the ecstasy and horror of being human. “A significant work of fiction. Cooper . . . wants to lead us into the wormy heart of the murderous impulse.” —Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hours “Destined to classic status.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review “Dennis Cooper, a disturbing and transcendent artist, enters the mind of a killer and comes out with genuine revelation.” —Michael Silverblatt, host of Bookworm “An electrifying study in carnage.” —The Sunday Times.

Literary Collections

Ōe and Beyond | Stephen Snyder,Philip Gabriel

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Are the works of contemporary Japanese novelists, as Nobel Prize winner Oe Kenzaburo has observed, "mere reflections of the vast consumer culture of Tokyo and the subcultures of the world at large"? Or do they contain their own critical components, albeit in altered form? Oe and Beyond surveys the accomplishments of Oe and other writers of the postwar generation while looking further to examine the literary parameters of the "Post-Oe" generation. Despite the unprecedented availability today of the work of many of these writers in excellent English translations, some twenty years have passed since a collection of critical essays has appeared to guide the interested reader through the fascinating world of contemporary Japanese fiction. Oe and Beyond is a sampling of the best research and thinking on the current generation of Japanese writers being done in English. The essays in this volume explore such subjects as the continuing resonances of the atomic bombings; the notion of "transnational subjects"; the question of the "de-canonization" (as well as the "re-canonization") of writers; the construction (and deconstruction) of gender models; the quest for spirituality amid contemporary Japanese consumer affluence; post-modernity and Japanese "infantilism"; the intertwining connections between history, myth-making, and discrimination; and apocalyptic visions of fin de siecle Japan. Contributors pursue various methodological and theoretical approaches to reveal the breadth of scholarship on modern Japanese literature. The essays reflect some of the latest thinking, both Western and Japanese, on such topics as subjectivity, gender, history, modernity, and the postmodern. Oe and Beyond includes essays on Endo Shusaku, Hayashi Kyoko, Kanai Mieko, Kurahashi Yumiko, Murakami Haruki, Murakami Ryu, Nakagami Kenji, Oe Kenzaburo, Ohba Minako, Shimada Masahiko, Takahashi Takako, and Yoshimoto Banana. Contributors: Davinder L. Bhowmik, Philip Gabriel, Van C. Gessel, Adrienne Hurley, Susan J. Napier, Sharalyn Orbaugh, Jay Rubin, Atsuko Sakaki, Ann Sherif, Stephen Snyder, Mark Williams, Eve Zimmerman..

Social Science

The Child in World Cinema | Debbie Olson

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This volume offers compelling analyses of children and childhood in non-Western films..

Language Arts & Disciplines

Contemporary World Fiction: A Guide to Literature in Translation | Juris Dilevko,Keren Dali,Glenda Garbutt

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This much-needed guide to translated literature offers readers the opportunity to hear from, learn about, and perhaps better understand our shrinking world from the perspective of insiders from many cultures and traditions. • Over 1,000 annotated contemporary world fiction titles, featuring author's name; title; translator; publisher and place of publication; genre/literary style/story type; an annotation; related works by the author; subject keywords; and original language • 9 introductory overviews about classic world fiction titles • Extensive bibliographical essays about fiction traditions in other countries • 5 indexes: annotated authors, annotated titles, translators, nations, and subjects/keywords.

Cooking

JapanEmoji! | Ed Griffiths

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How to live Japanese delivered through 100 familiar modern icons - humble emojis. These Japanese inventions, used around the world by billions, are simple, playful gateways into the essential elements of Japanese living. Cherry blossom, autumn leaves, love hotel, manner mode, kimono, lantern, the star festival, moon viewing, mount fuji, bullet train, the tokyo tower, noh theater, anime, hanafuda, panda, snow monkey, chopsticks, ramen, sushi, bento, sake and green tea - they are all on your phone and explained inside this book... Covers: weather and seasons, getting around, attire, relationships, etiquette, traditions, festivities, national icons, sports, leisure, fauna, eating and drinking..

Comics & Graphic Novels

O Maidens In Your Savage Season 1 | Mari Okada

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1 WORD. 3 LETTERS. RHYMES WITH “VEX.” When Kazusa enters high school, she joins the Literature Club, where she leaps from reading innocent fiction to diving into the literary classics. But these novels are a bit more…adult than she was prepared for. Between euphemisms like fresh dewy grass and pork stew, crushing on the boy next door, and knowing you want to do that one thing before you die–discovering your budding sexuality is no easy feat! As if puberty wasn’t awkward enough, the club consists of a brooding writer, the prettiest girl in school, an agreeable comrade, and an outspoken prude. Fumbling over their own discomforts, these five teens get thrown into chaos over three little letters: S…E…X…!.

Social Science

Permitted and Prohibited Desires | Anne Allison

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This provocative study of gender and sexuality in contemporary Japan investigates elements of Japanese popular culture including erotic comic books, stories of mother-son incest, lunchboxes—or obentos—that mothers ritualistically prepare for schoolchildren, and children's cartoons. Anne Allison brings recent feminist psychoanalytic and Marxist theory to bear on representations of sexuality, motherhood, and gender in these and other aspects of Japanese culture. Based on five years of fieldwork in a middle-class Tokyo neighborhood, this theoretically informed, accessible ethnographic study provides a provocative analysis of how sexuality, dominance, and desire are reproduced and enacted in late-capitalistic Japan..

Fiction

The Butcher's Daughter | Wendy Corsi Staub

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