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Japanese literature classes in 2021

Hello! It’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been rather busy lately (sorry, it’s an excuse) and tend to procrastinate things, which is not good. One of my new year’s resolutions is posting more frequently! Of course, I will continuously do my best to introduce Japanese literature in 2022 as well :) If you want to discover Japanese literature with me, please do join my classes. You’re always welcome!

It’s a bit late, but my Japanese literature classes in 2021 ended with flying colors thanks to superb participants.


We spent almost a whole year covering the entire Penguin anthology. I would like to thank you all again for participating in my classes with such enthusiasm. It’s been always my great pleasure discussing stories with people from different countries.

In the last session, to wrap up the whole year, I asked the participants to choose one story in the Penguin book which left the strongest impressions on them. One participant chose a story of Yuichi Seirai entitled “Insects”, which is a distinctive story on the atomic bomb of Nagasaki interspersed with the theme of Christianity. Another chose “American Hijiki” by Akikyuki Nosaka, which is a story about World War II and the American occupation. As epitomized in the title itself, it depicts the sheer poverty people were suffering from in the post-war Japan. “The Smile of a Mountain Witch” by Minako Ohba was also chosen by another attendee. This story is a great eye-opener in making us realize that folklores are crafted by men and hence biased.

The variety of the authors and themes of the Penguin book (edited by Jay Rubin) was magnificent. I strongly believe this is a fantastic introduction to Japanese literature. If you have read some stories of the Penguin anthology, which piece did you like the best?

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