To literary Japan


Japanese writings have come to the contemporary readers, mostly through translations of the works of modern Japanese writers like Haruki Murakami and many others. However, like any other literary lineage, Japanese literature too, runs deep with a heavy influence of Chinese culture up on the earlier works, which were even written in Classical Chinese till about 1868 (the end of Endo period). Due to the Buddhist diffusion in Japanese culture, one can even find a certain amount of influence of Indian literature. However, with the passage of time an unique style of writing was developed, endemic to the Japanese culture, sensibilities and context. Going through various phases of literary progression from Nara literary period to Meiji and Taisho literary period (going over Heian, Kamakuro-Muramachi and Endo literary periods) one reaches the modern period in Japanese literature, where affected by the consequences and events of World War II we find, recurrent themes of disillusionment, disaffection and a loss of purpose. With writers ranging from Kōbō Abe, Hario Umekazi to debatably pop fiction of Haruki Murakami and nihilistic writings of Yukio Mishima, Japanese literature is a vast, unbound treasure of wonders to be explored endlessly.

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