Introduction

It will be little secret to anyone who follows me on social media, or at my site, that one of my major obsessions is Japanese literature. While I actually lived in Japan for three years (a very long time ago now…), it wasn’t until I arrived in Australia that I developed an interest in Japanese writers, and over the past couple of decades, my personal library has gradually grown, overflowing the shelves devoted to it and forcing the literature of other nations to seek shelter elsewhere. My preference is usually for novels, the longer the better, but I do enjoy good short stories and am the proud possessor of many a collection and anthology, so I’m delighted to have this opportunity to present twelve excellent Japanese stories. Rather than simply choose my favourites, I decided to select one story from each of twelve collections or anthologies, with the aim of introducing a wide range of sources for anyone interested in reading more Japanese short fiction (for more information on these books, feel free to check out the reviews on my site). Hopefully, the brief taster provided here will inspire some of you to seek out these collections, and other work by the featured writers.

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