bsd really got me into learning about the rl authors, but ive been having trouble finding stuff about the japanese authors. do you have any recommendations for where i could start?
Ahhhh, I’m flattered you came to ask here for suggestions! I don’t think I’m the best person to ask, honestly, but I’ll do my best to help! Since you said it was BSD that got you interested, most of my recommendations will be from the Japanese authors featured in the series~
This is only to get you started, a bit of a sampler for what some of the literary greats have to offer.
– Akutagawa is the master of short stories, so there can be no better starter when it comes to dipping your toes in when it comes to Japanese literature.
Most of Akutagawa’s works deal with exposing the egotism of man and the flaws of the human spirit. His writing may be elegant and refined, but to others it comes off as unfeeling and cerebral; you’ll have to find out for yourself where you stand.
Beneath the Cherry Trees by Kajii Motojirou
– “There are bodies buried beneath the cherry trees!” This line from one of Kajii’s most famous works is often quoted, probably because it associates the ephemeral sakura with the grotesque. Sakaguchi Ango also wrote a story with the same title, but I find Kajii’s to be the more memorable one between the two.
Separate Ways by Higuchi Ichiyou
– BSD may have you fooled, but Higuchi is actually an extremely popular literary figure in Japan, due to both the quality of her work and her all too short life. “Separate Ways” is quite a short read, but it has a heartbreaking realism most stories twice its length can’t even hope to touch.
The Human Chair by Edogawa Ranpo
– And now, we enter the surreal. Though more known for being the originator of modern mystery stories in Japan, Edogawa was also considered a master of gothic horror. Be warned, this story can be disturbing so skip this if you have a faint heart! (As an aside, Ito Junji put a spin on the tale and published a oneshot inspired by “The Human Chair“ a few years back.)