Another reading challenge for 2019 has caught my eye. Meredith (@Dolce Bellezza) is hosting her 12th Japanese LIterature Challenge this year. I’ve participated in her challenges numerous times before and enjoyed each of them. I already have some Japanese literature on my Classics Club list, and two new books on my Kindle that would qualify for this challenge, so I decided to join…again.
This time, I am also going to add a few films to watch. Long ago, when my kids were little, I took a continuing education class at the University. It was called the “Art of Japanese Film” and I absolutely loved the class! And then, a few years ago, my husband and I bought a boxed set of DVDs of movies by the brilliant Japanese filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa, so Hubby and I are going to have our own Japanese Film Festival during this Challenge.
Books to Read:
- The Book of Tea, Kazuko Okakura
- Kokoro, Natsume Soseki
- Absolutely on Music, Haruki Murakami
- Sweet Bean Paste, Durian Sukegawa
Films of Akira Kurosawa to Watch:
- Stray Dog
- Seven Samurai
- The Hidden Fortress
Other Japanese Films to Watch:
- Miss Hokusai (we watched it on January 2, 2019) This is a film based on the life of the daughter of the great painter, Hokusai. It was adapted from a Manga series written and illustrated by Hinako Sugiura. It was directed by Keiichi Hara, and won numerous awards.
- Ugetsu (based on the book, Tales of Moonlight and Rain, by Akinari Udea)
- Spirited Away
- Our Little Sister
- My Neighbor Totoro
Click on the titles below to read my reviews of books I read for Dolce Bellezza’s previous Japanese LIterature Challenges.
- The Big Wave, by Pearl S. Buck
- Thousand Cranes, by Yasunari Kawabata
- The Bells of Nagasaki, by Takashi Nagai
- After the Quake, by Haruki Murakami
- Twenty-Four Eyes, by Sakae Tsuboi
- Tales of Moonlight and Rain, by Akinari Ueda
- Knit Kimono, by Vicki Square
- The Revenge of the Forty-Seven Samuari, by Erik Christian Haugaard
- Kira-Kira, by Cynthia Kadohata
- Summer of the Big Bachi, by Naomi Hirahara
- Kusamakura, by Natsume Soseki
- The Housekeeper and the Professor, by Yoko Agawa
One more thing…
My husband’s grandmother was a “picture bride” brought from Japan to Hawaii in the early 1900s as a bride for one of the Japanese plantation workers. If you are interested in that fascinating part of history, you can read my review of the book, Picture Bride, by Yoshiko Ushida. If you can find it, there is a beautiful little film called “Picture Bride,” that is well worth seeing. There are many stories of the 20,000 or so women who were the picture brides. They didn’t know their husbands-to-be before they were brought to Hawaii, and some to California. Each was chosen as a bride by their photo.