A comprehensive critical discussion of the Japanese novel and its distinctiveness from Western literature.


The Japanese novel, lately so widely translated, is finding a broader and better informed readership than ever before. Until now, however, no comprehensive critical discussion of the form has been available in a Western language. Masao Miyoshi offers an intensive reading of several outstanding novels of the past hundred years. He explains that the Japanese novel, usually regarded as basically Western in style, retains native elements that utterly resist Western influence. Citing Western, especially English, novels for comparison, he demonstrates how the Japanese novel differs in important formal aspects.

Masao Miyoshi (1928–2009) was Hajime Mori Endowed Chair in Japanese Language and Literature at the University of California, San Diego.