Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Daniel J. Evans Library - MS: LIB2300 - 2700 Evergreen Parkway, NE. Olympia, WA 98501 - 360-867-6250
Sesson Shūkei - Tree & Boat
Crop of painting by Sesson Shūkei (16th century) - See more art by Sesson and others in ARTStor.
Welcome to the Japan Studies research guide. On this tab, you will find a selection of interesting fiction and non-fiction books from our shelves.
The Research tab has guides to some of the most useful article databases and reference sources, as well where to go to find images of artwork, statistics and current events.
The Language Resources tab lists key language learning and reference materials.
Snow Country (雪国) by
Call Number: PL832.A9K63 1987
Publication Date: 1956
From Japan's first Nobel laureate in literature, known for his stark, minimalist style, a story of an affair between a a wealthy man and a geisha at a rural hot springs. Kawabata, while something of a modernist, was intensely concerned with Japanese identity and tradition.
The Crab Cannery Ship (蟹工船) by
Publication Date: 1929
Originally published in 1929, this seminal work of Japanese proletarian literature has become a best seller since the 2008 financial crisis. For his writing and support of the Communist Party, he was repeatedly arrested and eventually tortured to death by the Tokko secret police in 1933.
Confessions of a Mask (仮面の告白) by
Call Number: PL833.I7K33
Publication Date: 1958
A semi-autobiographical account of a young, homosexual man coping with identity and conformity in Imperial Japan. Mishima himself was a complex and controversial figure: a giant of Japanese post-War literature, but also an extreme nationalist, who committed suicide after a failed coup.
The Tale of Genji (源氏物語) by
Call Number: PL788.4.G4 E3 2001
Publication Date: 2002
A character-centered story of aristocratic life written during the Heian period (794-1185CE). A classic of Japanese literature and widely considered to be the first novel.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (ねじまき鳥クロニクル) by
Call Number: PL856.U673 N4513 1998
Publication Date: 1998
This surreal book about an unemployed man looking for a lost cat is possibly the most globally known works of modern Japanese literature.
A Personal Matter (個人的な体験) by
Call Number: PL858.E14K613 1982
Publication Date: 1964
The dark, semi-autobiographical story of a man's struggle to deal with his son's severe congenital brain damage, from Japan's second Nobel laureate in literature, noted for his embrace of existentialism, pacifism and rejection of Japanese nationalism, something that has earned him numerous death threats.
The Buddha in the Attic by
Call Number: PS3615.T88 B83 2011
Publication Date: 2011
A masterfully poetic glimpse into the Japanese-American experience through the eyes of a group of mail-order brides, leading up to WWII and the Exclusion.
Barefoot Gen (はだしのゲン) by
Call Number: PN6790.J33N33 1987b
Publication Date: 1982
A fictional account based on the author's own experience of living through the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The bombing itself is only the beginning; the story is primarily concerned with the consequences, both of the bomb and the war itself.
Showa: A History of Japan (コミック昭和史) by
Call Number: DS888.2 .M5913 2013
Publication Date: 2013-11-12
A four volume graphic memoir/history of the Showa period (1926-1989) from one of Japan's greatest manga artists.
An Introduction to Japanese Society by
Publication Date: 2010
A standout among other textbooks for its critical approach and attention to the diversity and complexity of Japanese society. Available as an eBook.
Daughters of the Samurai by
Call Number: E184.J3 N484 2015
Publication Date: 2015
A history of the Westernization of Japan told through the biographies of three elite women whose lives straddled the last years of the Tokugawa era and the Meiji period.
The Essential Basho by
Call Number: PL794.4 .A24 1998
Publication Date: 1999-03-30
A collection of poetry and prose writing, including The Narrow Road to the Interior, from one of the masters of haiku:
furu ike ya / kawazu tobikomu / mizu no oto
an ancient pond / a frog jumps in / the splash of water
For All My Walking by
Call Number: PL817.A62 A17 2003
Publication Date: 2003-11-12
An early 20th century practitioner, albeit rather freely, of the haiku form:
Kafe ni dekadan o ronzu natsu no chō toberi
In a café we debate decadence a summer butterfly flits
A Long Rainy Season by
Call Number: PL782.E3L66 1994
Publication Date: 1998-07-01
A collection of 15 post-war women poets (English only):
Twilight at a port of call / smell of daffodils / and steel. (Itami Kimiko)
Like Underground Water by
Call Number: PL782.E3L45 1995
Publication Date: 1995-10-01
A collection of poetry from 80 of the most prominent modern Japanese poets (English only):
Even sorrow adds to my bones' sharp glitter / Pain makes my flesh smell sweet from within / Nothing it without use / I open myself / towards woods where resin seeps, / toward you. (Ooka Makoto [(大岡 信])
Sesson Shūkei - Tree & Boat