Tag Archives: literature

Japanese novel translation: “The Rainlands” by Haruka Asahi [Chapter 2]

This is the 2nd chapter of the fantasy novel “The Rainlands” (雨の国) by Haruka Asahi (朝陽遥) which I am translating from Japanese with the author’s permission. It is about a man’s journey to a mysterious land and his encounter with its indigenous people. If you enjoy this story and want to read more, please consider liking this post… Read More »

Fiction Novel Review: “The Lightkeepers” by Abby Geni (an interesting study in literary style)

Once I got to the point where I could read novels in Japanese, it became difficult for me to budget time for English novels. Although I still read much faster in English and would say I still enjoy it more on average than Japanese books, each Japanese novel I read will improve my vocabulary, (hopefully) my reading speed,… Read More »

Japanese literature review: “コンビニ人間” (Convenience Store Woman [Konbini Ningen]) by 村田沙耶香 (Sayaka Murata)

When I discovered the book “Convenience Store Woman” (Japanese title “コンビニ人間”) by Sayaka Murata had won the 155th Akutagawa prize (arguably the biggest prize for Japanese literature), I decided to check it out myself. I purposefully stayed away from reviews or information about the book, and all I really knew was the book was about a woman who… Read More »

Japanese literature magazine review: 小説幻冬 (Shousetsu Gento) 

These days rather than reading Japanese novels, each which can still take me quite a long time to finish, I’ve been reading a literary magazine called 小説幻冬 (“Shousetsu Gento”, where “shousetsu” means ‘novel’ or ‘short story’) published by 幻冬社 (Gentosha). [Gotta love the name “幻冬”, which is made up for the characters for “mysterious” and… Read More »

Japanese expression “〜するも” (~suru mo) and vagueness of the が (ga) particle

Recently I read the very enjoyable short story “麦本三歩は今日が好き” by 住野よる in the literary magazine 小説幻冬 (Dec 2016 edition). I even translated a short excerpt of it into English here. There was one line of the story whose grammar I just couldn’t figure out, and I thought that it was either some strange pattern I had never… Read More »

Japanese literature translation: 風の又三郎 (Matasaburo of the Wind) by 宮沢賢治 (Kenji Miyazawa) [part 1/5]

It is the first day of elementary school after summer break, and the children are surprised to find a strange redheaded boy has joined their class. Soon after, some of the children begin to suspect there is something special about the newcomer. Could he be the legendary “Matasaburo of the wind”, or just another boy?  Recently… Read More »

Japanese literature review: Kenji Miyazawa’s “Matasaburo of the Wind”

I’ll have to just come out and admit it: of all of the books I have read there is a small group I never made it to the end of, including both Japanese and English works. One of these is Kenji Miyazawa’s (宮沢賢治) “Night on the Galactic Railroad” (銀河鉄道の夜) which was a deeply moving story when… Read More »

Japanese novel short excerpt translation: “Passaggio” (パッサジオ) by Hitonari Tsuji (辻仁成)

I recently reviewed Hitonari Tsuji’s Passaggio, and in this post I will be translating a small portion of it. I usually like to translate the first chapter (or at least the first few pages) of novels that I enjoy, but in this case I found a certain passage that was written so beautifully I decided to… Read More »

Japanese novel review: “Passaggio” (パッサジオ) by Hitonari Tsuji (辻仁成)

Of the last five books I’ve read, two were in English and three in Japanese. The English ones were both pretty good (one biography, one fantasy), but since they had little to do with Japanese I haven’t posted reviews for them here. The first two Japanese books were pretty mediocre, so I decided against writing reviews of them as well.… Read More »

Japanese short novel translation: ”Sluggish Symbol, Inane Illusion” (緩慢な表象と虚ろな幻想): Chapter 10: “Graduation”

”Sluggish Symbol, Inane Illusion” is a short novel written by Yuki Fujimura that is published on syosetsu.com, which I enjoyed so much I decided to translate into English. This story takes place in a society where each citizen is legally obligated to write a single book during their lifetime. You can see more information about this novel including a brief synopsis, my… Read More »