• ruru

book review: sexuality in japanese literature / 性と日本文学


It's still freezing outside and nice to stay at home and be cozy.

What do you do when you are alone at home? Watch movie or net surfing?

Here are some great books I would recommend for you, especially people who is interested in sexuality.

It also would be good if you want to try Japanese literature. There are English ver for both books. (I put Amazon links)

You may or may not know, I'm not an expert or a literature student so I am not going to do critical analysis on these books. Read it and review it with my words.







Niomi (1947) / by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

痴人の愛 / 谷崎 潤一郎

Jun'ichirō Tanizaki (1886 - 1965) is one of the most famous and important writers of Japanese literature. He is famous for his controversial subjects such as sexuality, masochism and erotic obsessions.

I've read only one of his books, which is called, Niomi, and I enjoyed it so much.

谷崎潤一郎(1886 - 1965) 日本の文学界で最も有名で重要な人の1人。セクシュアリティーやマゾヒズムなどエロティックな題材を書くことで有名。



The book is about a man and a girl. At the beginning, the man is 28 years old and the girl, Niomi, 15 years old. One day, he saw her at a cafe. She is from poor family but she is beautiful so he decides to educate her and will marry her when she becomes an adult. However, he starts to be obsessed with Niomi while they live together. Although she is rude and horrible to him, he can't say no to her and forgive her all the time. End up, he became almost a slave to Niomi.

The book reminds me of a famous Russian literature, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov which is also about a young girl and an older man. (I didn't like 'Lolita' at all tho...)

I was impressed that this book has published in 1947.

Niomi was depicted as such a strong girl/woman and she is far from a traditional Japanese woman who is mainly support her husband and don't say her strong opinion. Additionally, Niomi is very open to her sexuality and she enjoys sex with many guys, which was taboo at the time. (Well, still.)

Other great part of this book is we can see 1920s of Japan when Japan had started to Westernised. I am personally interested in those time so it was interesting to read those historical background from the book.