Best Historical Japanese Fiction in 2022

Historical Japanese Fiction

What is Historical Japanese Fiction? An historical novel is a book that is deliberately set in the past. Books like Yoshikawa's Taiko or the Genji Monogatari are considered historical novels, but works by Saikaku and the works of Yoshikawa do not qualify as historical. Moreover, for a work to be classified as historical, it must be explicitly stated that it is set in an earlier century. The Genroku era, the Meiji era, or colonial Japan do not qualify as historical fiction.

Genroku era

The Genroku era is often described as the "heart of the Tokugawa dynasty" and covers about a generation from 1688 to 1704. This era is a time of economic prosperity and artistic development, and many genres of uniquely Japanese art were created during this time. But what is Genroku period literature? Let's explore. Here are a few examples of Genroku period literature:

The first series of this period offered an excellent panorama of Genroku society, politics, and culture. The Ako Incident and the subsequent shogunate-led coup were key moments in the series, and the chamberlin Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu and the other ronin were well-known for their brutal and often misguided actions. The series also explored shogunal succession and the politics of loyalty.

During the Genroku era, the arts and literature were dominated by merchants and city-dwelling artisans. Professional artists and writers began to emerge. In the prose arena, two giants emerged - Ihara Saikaku, who portrayed life as an Osaka merchant, and Chikamatsu Monzaemon, who wrote the Joruri and Kabuki plays. Among the poets, Yosa Buson produced Haiku poems, and Ueda Akinari wrote a collection of gothic stories.

Other Genroku stories include Ako roshi by Osaragi Jiro, a journalist who wrote a novel in the late Edo period. Although his work was less popular than Shosan's, the Genroku-Sekenbanashi-Fubunshu is an excellent example of the genre. This long novel is one of the earliest collections of Genroku era historical Japanese fiction, and contains twenty-seven tales of medical and pharmaceutical science.

The Genroku era in historical Japanese fiction is also characterized by the Tokugawa dynasty. After the reunification, the Tokugawa clan established peace in the country. During this period, the three major cities of Japan grew rapidly. Osaka became the commercial center, and Kyoto, the imperial capital, grew into a small provincial town. Kyoto, however, retained some artistic talent.

Chushingura jugonen no hangyaku, published in 1988 by Shinchosha, is an example of historical Japanese fiction in the Genroku era. The novel is described as an act-by-act analysis of the Chushingura incident. Its protagonist, Asamanosuke, is a chonin playboy. His adversary, Kira, is a pompous son of a nouveau-riche merchant. Throughout the book, Asamanosuke, the playwright, becomes entangled in the Chushingura's mysteries. As a result, the Chushingura era is made more acceptable to a new generation of Japanese readers.

Yomihon genre

The Yomihon genre of historical Japanese fiction is a subgenre of gesaku, a form of popular literature in Japan. Unlike traditional novels, yomihon books were enjoyed mainly for their illustrations. These books often involved long-winded plots based on historical facts. Among the characters are impeccably noble gentlemen, fairy princesses, and witches. Takizawa Bakin is a typical example of a yomihon book.

In the early Muromachi period, renga and Noh theaters developed rapidly. Many Yomihon contain moral themes and are deeply rooted in the culture of the time. However, it is still difficult to find a single Yomihon book that is both historically accurate and satirical. In this article, I will describe several notable works of Yomihon fiction.

Tanehiko acknowledges that he edited the source text. But he also explains why he needed to do this. He also argued that it was necessary to cut certain passages so as to accommodate illustrations. Tanehiko's approach to yomihon fiction is a good example of how different audiences respond to yomihon works. Ultimately, he hopes to encourage readers to separate the signifying function of the written text from the visual elements of the story.

The Yomihon genre in historical Japanese literature is a subgenre of the Shogakukan literary tradition. It is a genre of historical fiction that highlights the social and economic conditions of society. In fact, it is so prevalent that it is often called "proletarian" literature. Authors in this genre include Kobayashi Takiji, Kuroshima Denji, Miyamoto Yuriko, and Sata Ineko. They all portray the harsh lives of peasants and workers and struggle for change.

In the early eleventh century CE, the first novel in Japan was written. Many consider it the first novel written anywhere in the world. Murasaki Shikibu, a Kyoto noblewoman, wrote this classic novel in the 11th century CE. The story follows the son of an emperor, who is no longer in line of succession. Throughout the novel, Hikaru Genji forms relationships with various Kyoto women, including the princess Katsuko.

Characters in historical Japanese fiction

If you enjoy reading historical Japanese fiction, you've probably wondered about the main characters. While there are some common stereotypes, there are also some distinctive elements of characters that set them apart. Here are some examples. - Elinor Mills - A young Englishwoman, who lives in the late eighteenth century in Japan, falls in love with a samurai from the Satsuma clan and marries him.

- The Heian Period During this period, Japanese literature tended to be highly provincial and only understandable to those with a common background. Readers of late seventeenth century Japanese literature needed little more than to know that the Great Fire of 1682 had been raging. The authors were often so interested in the culture of other countries that they incorporated this into their writings. - The early modern period saw the rise of kabuki theater, and western literature influenced Japanese authors to create more subjective styles of writing. - The genre of the novel is still highly popular today in Japan, as it is an important form of literature for readers around the world.

- The Meiji Period era saw the fall of feudal fiefs and the end of the war. While the Meiji Restoration ended the feudal system, it left many people stranded abroad. Many of these survivors - including the protagonist, Kyuzo - faced with an unimaginable level of desperation despite the advent of modern warfare. While the Satsuma clan has dissident samurai, it remains a strong power base for the Satsuma clan.

In a modern novel, the author deliberately departs from historical facts. Although it is still possible to find historical facts in a historical Japanese novel, the writer must explicitly state the work's time period. This is especially important when the novel is written in English. Often, the characters are not fully developed, but the plot still holds up. For example, Akiko's father and brother are complex characters that reappear in the historical narrative.

- A character may be a man, woman, or a combination of the two. In historical Japanese fiction, a character may be a daimyo, a noble, or a yakuza. These characters may seem somewhat ridiculous, but they are a staple of Japanese literature. Whether or not these characters are historical is not the point. The real question is, how does the historical fiction author handle the characters?

Books based on colonial Japan

There are many books set in the Japanese empire during the period of colonialism, but few focus on the specific events that influenced the country's history. Reading Colonial Japan is a rare anthology that brings together translated primary sources from the period and analytical essays. The authors emphasize the centrality of cultural production to the colonial effort, as well as how colonialism impacted every aspect of life in colonial Japan. Readers will learn about the role of legal documents, children's books, cookbooks, and literary works by famous Japanese writers.

While many Japanese writers worked in the colonial south, some of them sought to explore the culture of the Taiwanese people. Hayashi Fumiko and Nakajima Atsushi both spent a considerable amount of time in the country, while Nishikawa Mitsuru grew up in Taiwan and sought to capture the essence of the culture there. These authors also discussed the colonial language policy, which affected the multilingual environment of Taiwan. Richie's work is a masterpiece of travel literature.

Other books that explore the time and life in colonial Japan can include historical romance novels like The Gilded Fan by Christina Courtenay, which focuses on the experiences of the English who lived in the country during the seventeenth century. There are also novels set in the nineteenth century, such as The Children of Hachiman by Barbara Lazar. Other novels about colonial Japan include Musashi, The Heike Story, and The Samurai by Shusaku Endo.

The Gossamers Years by Kenzaburo Oe is another excellent choice. It follows the story of the author's wife, a feudal aristocrat who wants to change the way women live. While the story is gripping, it also has feminist overtones. It is also one of the most powerful suspense novels from the period. When the Shogunate was in power, the women began to gain control.

Vincent Kumar

I am an experienced, determined and highly motivated professional. With a true passion for meeting people and bringing them together, I have the ambition to keep myself constantly motivated and make things happen. I am an assertive communicator, with real strength in building client relationships. I am efficient, effective and excel under pressure. I am always looking to meet new clients, partners and suppliers so please do get in touch if you would like to explore collaborating.

📧Email | 📘LinkedIn