a random observation on contemporary Japanese literature

Monday, November 18, 2013

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Stuff written below is purely a personal non-thought and should not be taken seriously.

I have been fond of the Japanese culture since its glory days of anime during the '90s. Thanks to anime, I learned to draw cartoons. And from cartoons, I've developed to drawing real people and figures. I am not ashamed to say that's where my love for art held its foundation. Although I have outgrown a lot of things, I was kid who grew up with Final Fantasy, Gundam, Pokemon, Yu Yu Hakusho and such. And though I may have been brought up with a Barbie doll, I was also spoiled with those mecha toys. I cannot put to words how much I have learned because of the Japanese culture. I'm no longer enthused of it as much as I used to be, but Japan will always hold a soft spot in me.

Lately I've been indulging myself with Japanese literature. There's more for me to know before I can state my claims to be legitimate, but I myself am curious why I'm interested on such.

While translations will never have the ability to fully deliver what the vernacular can, and while I do admit I'm missing out numbers of perspectives because I am not Japanese, nor do I speak Japanese -- I have figured out two things: One, the introspective nature of Japanese literature had drawn me to think more about myself, my feelings and my philosophies; two, Japanese literature values loneliness and solitude.

Characters in Japanese literature are more detached from each other and from their reality, and their trains of thoughts transcend to the otherworldly. Protagonists and/or central characters battle on their own demons. I like it that they are so self-absorbent that they reach such unique and fresh thoughts. The characters love to be vague and talk about abstracts. It makes me assume that the ideal Japanese person should be pensive. It also amuses me that  most of the contemporary ones I have read gave me swatches of sadness. There's just so much to be sad for.

I wonder now if it's just rightful for me to compare it to Western literature. I can see some traits of Chuck Palahniuk fitting in, but I'm not really sure.

Although these are merely observations, and I have only read few of its kind, I'm enjoying what I've been finding out so far.

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