I picked up this book more than a decade ago, and I have tried reading it two or three times since then. Each time I couldn’t make it through the first chapter before giving up. It’s actually an epic novel and this is just the first of 8 books in this reprint. I finally read through the one book I own. The first book is a fictional account of the historical famous swordsman’s life starting at age 17 after the battle of Sekigahara to the point when he is a young man trying to find a worthy opponent to practice his mostly self taught martial art.
This book is about a teacher, Mr. Onodera, who experienced loss in the Great Hanshin Earthquake. After the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami he comes to the fictional Tohoku village, Toma, to fill in as a short term teacher and bring encouragement to the children. I chose to read this book because it was highly recommended on Self Taught Japanese where you can even read a translation of the beginning of the book. Continue reading “Japanese Book Review: そして、星の輝く夜がくる – 真山 仁”
This is the second book in the Saikawa and Moe series, which starts with Subete ga F ni naru.
According to an Amazon Review this was actually the first book that Mori wrote in the series, but they were released in a different order by the editors. I thought that the first one was very focused on the mechanics of the mystery, but this one was even more focused, and there wasn’t a whole lot in the story to flesh out the characters. There is even an email that describes each suspect in bullet points. It hard to write any more directly than that. I think the style difference between the first and second books makes more sense when you realize this one was actually written first.
I found two more blogs that review Japanese books recently. They are both focused on mysteries, but they mostly review books written in Japanese and update regularly. Reading through some of their posts I learned that there is a lot more to the mystery genre than I realized. I tried reading a book that was reviewed on both My Japanese Bookshelf and ボクの事件簿.
This is the second author I have read that writes business novels, so I can’t help but compare it to Ikeido Jun‘s works. Even though this is in the same genre, it is quite different. I’m excited that I can discover new things even within the seemingly narrow classification of business novels.
This is the second book out of three in the Youki na Gyangu series. I previously posted a review of the first book. You definitely need to read the first book before picking this one up because the characters are not explained and there are many references to the previous plot. I thought this one would be about bank robbery as well, but that turned out to be a minor part of the plot. The central plot was about the four criminals saving someone they happened to see being kidnapped during one of their bank attacks.
Browsing through this list of 50 books that high school students should read from Shinchosha, I picked this book because I thought the cover looked interesting. It turned out to be about high school students walking for 24 hours straight as a school tradition at the end of each year. There are three years of high school in Japan, so they do it three times during their career. The story switches back and forth between the perspective of a half brother and sister who by a bad coincidence ended up in the same class for their last year in high school. They have never spoken to each other despite being in the same class, and they have kept it a secret from all of their friends.
This mystery novel is set in an isolated research center on a privately owned island. A murder occurs in the sub-basement of a building with no windows, in a sealed room used as a prison cell for one brilliant computer scientist, Dr. Magata, who killed her parents as a child. No one and nothing has gone in or out for 15 years without being closely monitored. The book is at the limit for how creepy I would prefer, but the focus is mostly on solving how the event occurred and a bit about the relationship between Professor Saikawa and college freshman Moe.
This is a collections of four stories and is part of a series of books about Prefecture D Police, so I expected all of the stores to be about the police force, but it turns out only the first story, which gives the book its name, has anything to do with police.
(chinmoku Endo Shusaku)
A Jesuit priest from Portugal named Rodrigo who came to the Nagasaki area undercover near the beginning of the ban of Christianity in the early 17th century. The book has a heavy tone the whole way through with no moments of comic relief. Although I usually like lighter novels this one was worth reading. As a Christian, I’m interested in knowing how Christianity is perceived in Japan. Japan has a Christian population of only 1 percent, but this book comes up on most lists of post-war literature everyone should read, and Endo Shusaku was even a candidate for the Nobel prize in literature. So, I imagine this book has some influence on what people in Japan think about Christianity and Jesus.