Jessica (galfridian) wrote in little_details,

Japan: Literature

Setting: Fan fiction based on Hana Yori Dango, the Japanese drama adaptation of the manga. This is modern-day Japan.

Query: I have two characters who will discuss books, but my knowledge of Japanese literature is limited. I need three categories of books (1) classic works no more than 150 years old that may be on the typical Japanese school's reading list; (2) books that a teenage/young adult male might be read, particularly of the historical fiction variety; (3) romance novels, particularly what might be considered "chick lit" in Japan.

The research I've done, complete with lists of what I've found, can be found behind the cut. Any advice would be useful, including your opinion on the books I've found.

Research: I've done extensive searches on Google, using the following phrases: classic Japanese novel(s), classic Japanese literature, modern Japanese novel(s), modern Japanese literature, Japanese historical fiction, required reading Japan, Japan public school reading list, Japanese romance novel(s). I read several articles, including one from the Bookmarks Magazine website entitled Historical Fiction - Masters of the Past. I perused several forums in the process.

Below is a list of novels that might fall into the first two categories.

The Dancing Girl, Mori Ogai (1890)
The Holy Man of Mount Koya, Kyoka Izumi (1900)
The Broken Commandment, Toson Shimazaki (1906)
Kusamakura, Natsume Sōseki (1906)
Wild Geese, Mori Ogai (1911)
A Personal Matter, Kenzaburo Oe (1960)
The Setting Sun, Osamu Dazai (1968)
Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami (1987)
Ripening Summer, Shizuko Todo (1988)
The Woman in the Dunes, Kobo Abe (1991)
Beauty and Sadness, Yasunari Kawabata (1996)
Snow Country, Yasunari Kawabata (1996)
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1994-1997)
The Box Man, Kobo Abe (2001)
Cloud of Sparrows, Takashi Matsuoka (2004)

But my list for the third category...well, I couldn't find many titles. I read an article that suggested that chick-lit is not popular in Japan, and quoted a publisher from Tokyo on the subject, but I'm still unsure. Here are the two titles I've found:

Kitchen, Banana Yoshimoto
Awake, Banana Yoshimoto

Furthermore, I found this article on Wikipedia about the changes in Japanese literature in 1868-1945, as well as the changes in literature that occurred post-World War II, but I'm unsure how much I can rely on it as the basis for dialogue in the story.
Tags: japan (misc)

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