Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories” as Want to Read:
The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  66 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
A major new anthology of great Japanese short stories introduced by Haruki Murakami

This fantastically varied and exciting collection celebrates the great Japanese short story collection, from its origins in the nineteenth century to the remarkable practitioners writing today. Curated by Jay Rubin (who has himself freshly translated several of the stories) and introduced by
Hardcover, 472 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Penguin Classics
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
L S Popovich
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Since I've read every word Haruki Murakami has published in English I felt obligated to read his introduction once it showed up in the preview on Amazon. People saying "Haruki Murakami is my favorite author" has now become a cliche. But cliches can sometimes be true.
His introduction was nice and long and juicy. My impression of the collection of stories was that they were chosen, as Mr. Rubin explains, for the casual reader. Maybe it's pretentious but I consider myself more than a casual reader
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-the-world
This is a collection of both well known to me Japanese authors, as well as those I have not heard of before. I enjoyed this collection, with an introduction by a favorite author, Murakami. As always, I enjoyed some more than others.
Gavin Leech
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
All the classic contradictions - kawaii and banality, sullen obesiance and batshit intensity, mono no aware and sexual frustration.

There are five great stories (“Hell Screen”, 'Sanshirō', “American Hijiki”, “Pink”, “Mr. English”) and 10 or so enjoyable squibs (out of around 40). There aren't many great sentences, but greatness doesn't strictly need em.
spinning slowly all in unison, and Naomi found herself joining them, looking up into the sky just as she had before, but this time she felt she w
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has taken me a while to read - not because it’s bad, but because I tend to read a few short stories between books. I can’t get into short story collections like a novel, I dip in and out of them over a period of time.
This is actually one of the best collections that I have read. It has a very high hit rate - most short story collections are, for me, more miss than hit, but this is definitely the other way round.
The stories vary from three pages to just over seventy. They are grouped
Oct 04, 2018 is currently reading it
Looking back at the books I have read recently has left me a little disappointed, so I thought "why not find something classic to pull me out of this funk?"... I just downloaded this collection to my iPad. If I cannot find something surprising here, the problem lies in me.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
While I was reading this book, I found myself wondering why I love Japanese literature to the extent I do. It is one of the most exclusive set of literature based on a culture that differs markedly from any other. Even though Japan has been one of the fast developing nations in the past century, one cannot draw parallels with the West. A nation that had closed itself off to the rest of the world, went through feudal wars for centuries, saw the birth of samurai class, emergence of shogunate and g ...more
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
While this has taken me nearly a month to read, I have very much enjoyed it. And it's great the stories are both old (early 1900's) and new (as recent as 2012)

My favourite sections was 'Dread' the three stories in this sections , 'Hell Screen', 'Filling Up with Sugar' and 'Kudan' were fascinating stories. Loved them.

Other favourites include: 'Shoulder-Top Secretary', 'Patriotism' and 'Weather-Watching Hill' as well as 'The Smile of a Mountain Witch'

Stories that will stay with me: 'UFO in Kushiro
Jerry Pogan
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely sensational collection of short stories. It includes some of my favorite authors such as Mishima, Kawabata and Murakami but more importantly many authors I was unfamiliar with. I was a little disappointed that it didn't include one of my all-time favorites Kenzaburo Oe but that doesn't take anything away from just how good this book is. It opened a whole new field of authors that I can now read by giving a sample of the work they do. The translations were incredible and I felt that ...more
Pyramids Ubiquitous
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a very strong collection of stories. My only criticism is that there was a bit too much content regarding "Disasters, Natural and Man-Made;" they were mostly one-dimensional.

Favorite Stories: The Story of Tomoda and Matsunaga, Patriotism, Unforgettable People, The 1963/1982 Girl from Ipanema, Mr English, Hell Screen
Katelijne Sommen
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are several supremely haunting short stories in this thematic collection. I like that they're from a lot of different time periods, yet not arranged chronologically. A good introduction to both classic and more contemporary Japanese authors.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
A very mixed bag of short stories, some great, some okay and but many just so-so. If you want more details I suggest you read the detailed review by Gavin Leech.
rrrat ratt
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great anthology, and the book itself is gorgeous.
I loved the book design, the paper, and the typography.

The selected short stories are very varied in style and historical periods, spanning from classics to lesser-known authors. I appreciate particularly the effort to include a fair amount of female writers to the selection.

The stories are divided by thematics, which is also a very nice touch, bringing a good rythm to the overall reading experience compared to, for example, and alphabetical or ch
josé almeida
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
outra belíssima surpresa oriental.
com edição de jay rubin e um curioso prefácio de haruki murakami, neste lançamento recente são reunidos quase quarenta contos de autores japoneses - agrupados não cronologicamente mas sim por temas (o japão e o ocidente, homens e mulheres, natureza e memória, guerreiros leais, vida moderna, desastres, etc) - num conjunto representativo do que melhor se escreveu no japão em termos de narrativa curta.
abre com uma quase novela de junichiro tanizaki e não foram esq
Emmett Mottl
rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2018
Duncan Chappell
rated it it was amazing
Sep 23, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Nov 09, 2018
Ella Eyckmans
rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2018
Oct 09, 2018 marked it as to-read
Sweet, powerful short stories - with Japanese translations - allowing for bilinguals to test out their knowledge. Would recommend.
Monique Piquet
rated it it was amazing
Oct 30, 2018
Srinath Sundareswaran
rated it really liked it
Oct 15, 2018
rated it liked it
Aug 24, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Oct 21, 2018
Raluca Nagy
rated it it was amazing
Aug 26, 2018
Hayden Cole-Rajotte
rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Oct 30, 2018
Igor Perisic
rated it really liked it
Nov 18, 2018
Jason Upton
rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2018
rated it really liked it
Oct 30, 2018
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Jay Rubin is an American academic and translator. He is most notable for being one of the main translators into English of the works of the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. He has also written a guide to Japanese, Making Sense of Japanese, and a biographical literary analysis of Murakami.