What are the best historical fiction novels set in Japan?

asked by Anonymous
246 contributors
12 solutions
  1. 30

    #1Memoirs of a Geisha

    Memoirs of a Geisha

    Memoirs of a Geisha is Arthur Gold's best-selling novel, which tells the story of Nitta Sayuri as she overcomes loss at a young age and learns the art of becoming a geisha. It is a story of loss and pain, hope, and love.

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    Ethan Pena
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "This is a perfect example of historical fiction set in early Japanese history as it provides an interesting perspective on the life of a geisha during that period. The story itself is rather intriguing and has no shortage of schemes that influence the life of the protagonist. The reader is immersed into another culture and shown the struggles of an ancient culture in its development and practice."
  2. 26

    #2Shogun (Asian Saga)

    Shogun (Asian Saga)
    Set in 1600, the first book of the Asian Saga features three main characters: John Blackthorne, a British adventurer who arrives at Japan; Toranaga, a feudal lord with dreams of becoming the Shogun and Lady Mariko, a Catholic convert who falls in love with John, an explosive combination of characters and personalities that ensures lots of adventures. 
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    Brittany Moreno
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "From both this description and the one on the solution I have an interest to read this book. I think because only a vague description was given and just a few choice adventure like details were given it made the story alluring"
  3. 25

    #3The Tale of Murasaki

    The Tale of Murasaki

    The Tale of Murasaki is a historical fiction written by Liza Dalby. Set in ancient Japan, the novel highlights the life Murasaki Shikibu. Murasaki is credited as the author of the world's first novel, The Tale of Genji. 

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    Rajesh Pawar
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "In this book, Liza Dalby writes about a girl who becomes an excellent storyteller. She is asked to regale the empress with her stories. The book provides an entertaining look at fictional ancient Japanese life."
  1. 24

    #4The Diplomat's Daughter

    The Diplomat's Daughter

    The Diplomat's Daughter is a historical fiction written by Karin Tanabe. It focuses on Emi Kato, the novel's main protagonist, and her two friends during WWII. The novel was published in July 2017.

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    Helen Edwards
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "Emi Kato is a diplomat's daughter during World War Two. She finds herself in a Texas confinement camp with other Japanese and German people. Her parents were blamed for conspiracy against the US government. She falls in love with another young German man who joins the American military but hopes to be reunited with her one day. But does Emi's heart belong to another? Yes, even in the times of destruction love tries to find a way."
  2. 23

    #5Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale (Vol. 1)

    Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale (Vol. 1)

    Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale is an action/historical fiction written by David Kudler. Set in Japan during the Sengoku Jidai, it follows the story of Kano Murasaki, called Risuko (Squirrel), a young girl adventurous girl. 

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    Mary Walters
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "This is the first volume in a series and it does a great job of establishing the roll of our main character. The real adventures don't start till later books but this one gives you her backstory and present life."
  3. 22

    #6The Street of a Thousand Blossoms

    The Street of a Thousand Blossoms
    The Street of a Thousand Blossoms is a historical fiction written by Gail Tsukiyama. The novel focuses on the life of brothers Hiroshi and Kenji Matsumoto before, during, and after the WWII. It was first published in 2007.
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    Megan Hernandez
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "I liked this book because it was written from a Japanese perspective. It was a very good read."
  4. 18

    #7The Courtesan and the Samurai

    The Courtesan and the Samurai

    The Courtesan and the Samurai is a historical novel written by Lesley Downer. Set in 1896, it focuses on 17-year-old Hana, the wife of a soldier, who became a courtesan at a pleasure quarter in Tokyo. The novel was published in 2010.

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    Donna Butler
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "1868. In Japan's exotic pleasure quarters, sex is for sale and the only forbidden fruit is love ... Hana is just seventeen when her husband goes to war, leaving her alone and vulnerable. When enemy soldiers attack her house she flees across the shattered city of Tokyo and takes refuge in the Yoshiwara, its famous pleasure-quarters.There she is forced to become a courtesan. Yozo, brave, loyal and a brilliant swordsman, is pledged to the embattled shogun. He sails to the frozen north to join his rebel comrades for a desperate last stand. Defeated, he makes his way south to the only place where a man is beyond the reach of the law - the Yoshiwara. There in the Nightless City where three thousand courtesans mingle with geishas and jesters, the battered fugitive meets the beautiful courtesan. But each has a secret so terrible that once revealed it will threaten their very lives ..."
  5. 18

    #8The Snow Fox: A Novel

    The Snow Fox: A Novel
    The Snow Fox is a historical fiction written by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer. Set in medieval Japan, the novel follows the story of the main protagonist Lady Utsu. Lady Utsu is based on the poet Ono Komachi. The novel was published in 2003.

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    Brandon West
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "This book was an entertaining look into medieval Japan. It deals with warring clans, headed by lords who are both familiar with the protaganist. Shcaeffer's way with words had me easily wrapped up in the story and able to imagine the scenes being described. Great story set in a rarely used setting. "
  6. 17

    #9The Samurai's Garden

    The Samurai's Garden

    The Samurai's Garden is a historical fiction written by Gail Tsukiyama. The novel highlights the intrinsic themes of loyalty and honor native to the Japanese culture. It was first published in May 1996.

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    Jean Evans
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "This is an eloquent story about a young Chinese man who is recovering from tuberculosis at his deceased grandfathers beach house in Japan. The story takes place in the 1930's at the onset of WWII. It is a very touching story and will not soon be forgotten. "
  7. 16

    #10The Translation of Love

    The Translation of Love

    The Translation of Love: A Novel is a historical fiction written by Lynne Kutsukake. Set in occupied Japan in the late 1940s, the novel focuses on 13-year-old Aya Shimamura and her effort to help a classmate find her missing sister.

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    Randy Fowler
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "I think "The Translation of Love" appears to be a solid enough story to definitely keep my interest. I feel our two main characters will become close friends while the novel progresses, and maybe the big twist at the end is the classmates were the siblings all along?"
  8. 15

    #11The Mask Carver's Son

    The Mask Carver's Son
    The Mask Carver's Son by Alyson Richman is a fictional book about the history of Japan with a touch of creative characters in between lines and plot twists. This book which is set in Paris was published in 2013.
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  9. 0

    #12The Fox Woman (Love/War/Death)

    The Fox Woman (Love/War/Death)

    The Fox Woman is a Japanese historical fiction and the first book in Love/War/Death series written by Kij Johnson. This fantasy book is first published in 2000 by Tor Books. 

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    Aurora Olivares
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "This book is a good fit for the solution. The book has very good reviews and seems to be very popular. The story line is very good."

Summary

Best What are the best historical fiction novels set in Japan
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1Memoirs of a GeishaBooks 30 Paid
2Shogun (Asian Saga)Books 26 Paid
3The Tale of MurasakiBooks 25 Paid
4The Diplomat's DaughterBooks 24 Paid
5Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale (Vol. 1)Books 23 Paid
6The Street of a Thousand BlossomsBooks 22 Paid
7The Courtesan and the SamuraiBooks 18 Paid
8The Snow Fox: A NovelBooks 18 Paid
9The Samurai's GardenBooks 17 Paid
10The Translation of LoveBooks 16 Paid
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