Japan -- fiction

Shinju

By Laura Joh Rowland

Go to catalog
"When beautiful, wealthy Yukiko and low-born artist Noriyoshi are found drowned together in a shinju, or ritual double suicide, everyone believes the culprit was forbidden love. Everyone but newly appointed yoriki Sano Ichiro.

"Despite the official verdict and warnings from his superiors, the shogun's Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People suspects the deaths weren't just a tragedy -- they were murder. Risking his family's good name and his own life, Sano will search for a killer across every level of society -- determined to find answers to a mystery no one wants solved. No one but Sano..."

Reserve this title

Slatewiper

By Lewis Perdue

Go to catalog
Lara Blackwood, genetic engineering entrepreneur and presidential advisor, receives a call from an old college friend who asks her help in solving a ghastly epidemic in Tokyo. She agrees to help and, with a single phone call, sets in motion a chain of death and mayhem stretching from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., Amsterdam, and Japan. To her horror, she discovers her life's work has been perverted to produce a revolutionary new genetic weapon that kills by turning people's own chromosomes against them.
Reserve this title

Pastries: A Novel of Desserts and Discoveries

By Bharti Kirchner

Go to catalog

"Sunya Malhotra, a young American woman whose parents had migrated from India, is the head baker and owner of Pastries, a warm and cozy bakery in Seattle. Sunya loves baking and has transformed her fabulous cakes and tarts into delicious works of art. The success of her beloved bakery is put in jeopardy, however, when a chain bakery threatens to open up down the street from her. To add to her misery, Roger, her hip, Japanese boyfriend has left her for a "perfect" Japanese girlfriend and her mother has just become engaged to a man Sunya detests. Sunya hasn't yet reconciled to the mystery of a father missing since her birth. Even a new relationship with a hot, young film director who is in town to cover the 1999 World Trade Conference, can't help Sunya with her biggest worry - she has lost her touch for baking.

"Overwhelmed, Sunya is surprised to find herself listening when her new Japanese baker offers her a solution to her problems - enroll in a baking school in Japan! Of course, this isn't just any baking school. It is run by a famous Japanese baker, Mori Matsumoto, and is based on the principle of mindfulness. Soon Sunya finds herself learning the basic skills of baking all over again. Is this what she needs to rediscover herself?"

Reserve this title

Dance, Dance, Dance

By Haruki Murakami

Go to catalog

"In this propulsive novel by the author of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World and The Elephant Vanishes, one of the most idiosyncratically brilliant writers at work in any language fuses science fiction, the hard-boiled thriller, and white-hot satire into a new element of the literary periodic table."  (Publisher's description)

Reserve this title

Autumn Bridge

By Takashi Matsuoka

Go to catalog
"In the year 1311, in the highest tower of Cloud of Sparrows Castle, a beautiful woman sits by the window, watching as enemies gather below and fires spread through the night. As she calmly awaits her fate, she begins to write, carefully setting down on a scroll the secret history of the Okumichi clan--of the gift of prophecy they share and the extraordinary destiny that awaits them. For six centuries, these remarkable writings lay hidden—until they are uncovered by an American woman, a missionary named Emily Gibson, who arrived in Edo harbor in 1861, in flight from a tragic past. Soon an extraordinary man would enter her life: Lord Genji of the Okumichi clan, a nobleman with a gift of prophecy who must defend his embattled family—and confront forbidden feelings for an outsider in his midst. Emily, too, soon finds herself at a turning point; courted by two westerners, she knows her heart belongs to the one man she cannot have. But Emily has found a mission of her own: translating Genji’s ancestral history, losing herself in an epic tale of heroism and forbidden love."
Reserve this title

Across the Nightingale Floor

By Lian Hearn

Go to catalog

"...a story of a boy who is suddenly plucked from his life in a remote and peaceful village to find himself a pawn in a political scheme, filled with treacherous warlords, rivalry--and the intensity of first love. In a culture ruled by codes of honor and formal rituals, Takeo must look inside himself to discover the powers that will enable him to fulfill his destiny."

Reserve this title

A Town Where the Lights Are Blue

By William Saffell

Go to catalog
"The 'town' is Yokohama. John Sky is a Vietnam War veteran who takes up residence there during the early 1970s. Finding work playing piano in a small jazz club, he immerses himself in the seductive lifestyle of the water business, a modern version of the floating world--a traditional metaphor for life's transient nature. This is an after-hours world inhabited by the people who work in Japan's bars and nightspots. While wandering the streets of this intriguing and sometimes dangerous landscape, Sky meets two women who will change his life forever: Sayoko, a young cabaret hostess whose ethereal beauty and mercurial mood shifts mask a tragic secret, and Miyako, an aging water business woman who says as much with silence as with words."
Reserve this title

Sexual Occupation of Japan

By Richard Setlowe

Go to catalog
"Attorney Peter Saxon arrives in Tokyo to secretly negotiate an historic merger between a Japanese electronics giant and an American movie and media conglomerate, a multibillion-dollar marriage that will dominate communications in the next century. But before the talks even begin, the government official with whom he is to meet is gruesomely murdered and mutilated. Then Saxon himself becomes the target of strange, vicious attacks.

"Searching for answers and trapped by a wall of polite, steeled silence, Saxon is forced to probe the heartwrenching memories of his youth--the shards of a past that neither time nor distance have buried. As a young Navy pilot operating from Japan during the Vietnam War, Saxon became passionately involved with a Japanese nightclub hostess named Lilli, an enchanting young woman with a dark, painful past. Their relationship created numerous enemies."

Reserve this title

Tale of Murasaki

By Liza Dalby

Go to catalog

"Out of the life and work of Lady Murasaki, the author of, the world's first novel,The Tale of Genji, Liza Dalby has woven an exquisite and irresistible fiction that with rich, nuanced authenticity and lyrical drama, brings an elaborate past world to vivid life. The sensitive and modest daughter of a mid-ranking court poet, Murasaki Shikibu staves off loneliness with her active imagination, telling stories about the dashing Prince Genji to her close friends. At first, they are their private entertainment, but soon Genji's amorous adventures are leaked to the public and Murasaki is thrust into the life of a kind of 11th century Japanese celebrity. She is compelled by a charismatic regent to accept a position at court regaling the empress with her stories. At court, Lady Murasaki becomes caught in a vortex of high politics and sexual intrigue, which begins to reflect itself in her stories."

Reserve this title

Shogun

By James Clavell

Go to catalog

"A bold English adventurer. An invincible Japanese warlord. A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love. All brought together in an extraordinary saga of a time and a place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, and the struggle for power..."

Reserve this title