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Junichiro Tanizaki

  • About this Author
author spotlight

Junichiro Tanizaki was born in Tokyo in 1886 and lived in the city until the earthquake of 1923, when he moved to the Kyoto-Osaka region, the scene of one of his most well-known novels, The Makioka Sisters (1943-48). The author of over twenty books, including Naomi (1924), Some Prefer Nettles (1928), Arrowroot (1931), and A Portrait of Shunkin (1933), Tanizaki also published translations of the Japanese classic, The Tale of Genji in 1941, 1954, and 1965. Several of his novels, including Quicksand (1930), The Key (1956), and Diary of a Mad Old Man (1961) were made into movies. He was awarded... Read More

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Exam Copy
The Key & Diary of a Mad Old Man

Written by Junichiro Tanizaki
Translated by Howard Hibbett


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 14, 2004
Price: $15.95

These two modern classics by the great Japanese novelist Junichiro Tanizaki, both utilize the diary form to explore the authority that love and sex have over all.

In The Key, a middle-aged professor plies his wife of thirty years with any number of stimulants, from brandy to a handsome young lover, in... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Makioka Sisters

Written by Junichiro Tanizaki


Format: Trade Paperback, 544 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 26, 1995
Price: $16.00

In Osaka, in the years immediately before W.W.II, four aristocratic women try to preserve a way of life that is vanishing. The story of the Makioka sisters is arguably the greatest Japanese novel of the 20th century, a poignant yet unsparing portrait of a family--and society--sliding into the abyss of modernity... Read more >
Also available as a hardcover.

Exam Copy
The Makioka Sisters

Written by Junichiro Tanizaki


Format: Hardcover, 498 pages
Publisher: Everyman's Library
On Sale: May 25, 1993
Price: $22.00

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Naomi

Written by Junichiro Tanizaki


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: April 10, 2001
Price: $15.00

Na-o-mi. The three syllables of this name, unusual in 1920s Japan, captivate a 28-year-old engineer, who soon becomes infatuated with the girl so named, a teenaged café waitress. Drawn to her Eurasian features and innocent demeanor, Joji is eager to whisk young Naomi away from the seamy underbelly of post—World War... Read more >

Exam Copy
Quicksand

Written by Junichiro Tanizaki


Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 24, 1995
Price: $15.00

Quicksand is a silkily nuanced novel of erotic gamesmanship and obsession. Sonoko Kakiuchi, an Osaka lady of good family, married to a dully respected lawyer, tells a story of temptation and betrayal. Sonoko is infatuated with the beautiful art student and femme fatale Mitsuko, a woman so seductive and heartless she... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Reed Cutter and Captain Shigemoto's Mother
Two Novellas
Written by Junichiro Tanizaki


Format: Trade Paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 24, 1995
Price: $15.00

With a precision and brilliance unmatched perhaps by any other novelist of the twentieth century, Junichiro Tanizaki interweaves a sense of his country's deep past with the kind of pathologies and obsessions we are likely to think of as modern. Here, in two eerie and beautiful novellas, he displays this skill... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi and Arrowroot
Two Novels
Written by Junichiro Tanizaki


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: March 11, 2003
Price: $12.00

From a Japanese master of romantic and sexual obsession come two novels that treat traditional themes with sly wit and startling psychological sophistication. In The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi, Junichir Tanizaki reimagines the exploits of a legendary samurai as a sadomasochistic dance between the hero and the wife... Read more >

Exam Copy
Seven Japanese Tales

Written by Junichiro Tanizaki


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 1, 1996
Price: $16.00

In these seven stories, the author of The Makioka Sisters explores the territory where love becomes self-annihilation, where the contemplation of beauty gives way to fetishism, and where tradition becomes an instrument of refined cruelty. Read more >

Exam Copy
Some Prefer Nettles

Written by Junichiro Tanizaki
Translated by Edward G. Seidensticker


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 26, 1995
Price: $15.00

This is an exquisitely nuanced novel about the allure of Japanese tradition--and about the profound disquiet that accompanied its passing. This is the tale of Kaname and his wife, Misako, living in Tokyo in the 1920s. Having long since stopped sleeping together, they share a parody of a Western marriage, while... Read more >
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