JA Reading List

The JA Reading List is a list of Japanese* writers and creators from around the world.

I hope this list will prove helpful to fellow Japanese readers searching for writing reflective of their experiences. The list includes creators working in Japanese, English, or a combination of both languages.** Please note, some of these works cater to adults, so do your research first.

To my fellow Japanese readers – especially the diaspora kids like me – our voices and our stories matter. They will always matter. Just as no one but you can define your “Japanese-ness,” no one but you can tell your story. If you have a story you want to share, why not give it a shot?

Fiction Writers

  • Akemi Dawn Bowman
  • Aki Gibbons
  • 高木 彬光
  • 有栖川 有栖
  • Allison Reiko Scott
  • Alma Katsu
  • Andrew Fukuda
  • Angela Yuriko Smith
  • 大沢 在昌
  • 吉本ばなな
  • Caroline M. Yoachim
  • CT Callahan
  • Cynthia Kadohata
  • Dale Furutani
  • Emiko Jean
  • 小林 エリカ
  • 文子
  • 芙美子
  • 中村 文則
  • Gail Tsukiyama
  • 薬丸 岳
  • Geraldine Kudaka
  • 村上春樹
  • Hiromi Goto
  • 川上 弘美
  • Hiroshi Nakamura
  • 桜坂 洋
  • Hisaye Yamamoto
  • 金原ひとみ
  • 中野独人
  • Iori Kusano
  • Isamu Fukui
  • 小川 一水
  • Jacqueline Koyanagi
  • Jami Nakamura Lin
  • Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
  • John Okada
  • Joy Kogawa
  • Julie Kagawa
  • Julie Otsuka
  • 谷崎潤一郎
  • かなえ
  • 江國香織
  • Karen Tei Yamashita
  • Karin Tanabe
  • 高野 和明
  • 木内 一裕
  • 金城一紀
  • 桜庭 一樹
  • Kazuo Ishiguro
  • 東野圭吾
  • Keith Yatsuhashi
  • Kelly Fumiko Weiss
  • Ken Mochizuki
  • 大江健三郎
  • 北方謙三
  • Kerri Sakamoto
  • 岡本綺堂
  • Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi
  • Kim Moritsugu
  • 安部 公房
  • 鈴木光司
  • Kristen Simmons
  • Kyo Maclear
  • Kyoko Mori
  • 西村京太郎
  • Leslie Shimotakahara
  • Lisa Matsumoto
  • Lois-Ann Yamanaka
  • Lorna Suzuki
  • Lynne Kutsukake
  • Margaret Dilloway
  • Marie Mutsuki Mockett
  • Mariko Nagai
  • Mariko Tatsumoto
  • Masako Fukui
  • Meika Hashimoto
  • Michelle Sagara
  • Miki Dare
  • Milton Murayama
  • Misa Sugiura
  • 宮部みゆき
  • 紫式部
  • 谷川 流
  • 上橋菜穂子
  • Naomi Hirahara
  • 京極夏彦
  • 桐野夏生
  • Nina Revoyr
  • 嶽本野ばら
  • 太宰治
  • 乙一
  • Patricia Kiyono
  • 綿矢りさ
  • Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
  • Ruth Ozeki
  • 村上龍
  • 芥川龍之介
  • 壺井 栄
  • Sarah Kuhn
  • 上田 早夕里
  • 松本清張
  • 横溝正史
  • 夏樹 静子
  • 大岡昇平
  • Shoson Nagahara
  • 吉田修一
  • 遠藤周作
  • 島田 荘司
  • 夏目 漱石
  • Spencer Hoshino
  • Sylvia Day
  • Sylvia Watanabe
  • Tabitha Suzuma
  • 藤井 太洋
  • 長塚節
  • Takiko Morimoto
  • 芦辺 拓
  • Tamai Kobayashi
  • 石川達三
  • Terry Watada
  • 宮本輝
  • 誉田 哲也
  • Todd Shimoda
  • 円城 塔
  • 石川 智健
  • 星野智幸
  • Toshio Mori
  • 島崎藤村
  • Valynne Maetani
  • Xen/Cole/X
  • 川端康成
  • 筒井康隆
  • Yoko Kawashima Watkins
  • 小川洋子
  • Yone Noguchi
  • Yoshiko Uchida
  • Yukimi Ogawa
  • 三島由紀夫
  • 行人
  • 佐藤友哉
  • Zoe Tokushige

Nonfiction/Academic Writers

  • Akemi Kikumura-Yano
  • Akemi Nishida
  • Akiko Hashimoto
  • Akiko Takenaka
  • Akira Iriye
  • Akira Kawaguchi
  • Akira O Kumamoto
  • Amy Sueyoshi
  • Annmaria Shimabuku
  • Aozora Brockman
  • Ayako Ishigaki
  • Barbara Kawakami
  • Bill Hosokawa
  • Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi
  • Bobby Okinaka
  • Brian Komei Dempster
  • Brian Masaru Hayashi
  • Candace Fujikane
  • Chizuko Ueno
  • Christine Yano
  • Daisuke Miyao
  • Daisy Moriyama
  • Dale Ann Sato
  • Darrell Hamamoto
  • Daryl J. Maeda
  • David Mura
  • David Yamaguchi
  • Delphine Hirasuna
  • Dennis M. Ogawa
  • Dina Okamoto
  • Donald Teruo Hata
  • Dorinne Kondo
  • Edward Nakasone
  • Eiichiro Azuma
  • Eiji Okawa
  • Eiko Maruko Siniawer
  • Eileen Tamura
  • Elena Tajima Creef
  • Emi Sasagawa
  • Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney
  • Eri Hotta
  • Eri Yasuhara
  • Eric K. Yamamoto
  • Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto
  • Evelyn Iritani
  • Evelyn Nakano Glenn
  • Frances Kakugawa
  • Franklin Odo
  • Gail Nomura
  • Gary Okihiro
  • Gil Asakawa
  • Gordon Hirabayashi
  • Haru Sugiyama
  • Haruko Taya Cook
  • Harumi Befu
  • Haruo Shirane
  • Hayao Kawai
  • Hiroki Azuma
  • Hiromichi Yahara
  • Hiromitsu Takano
  • Hiroshi Kashiwagi
  • Iyko Day
  • Jack Fujimoto
  • Jane Iwamura
  • Jane Komori
  • Jane Yamashiro
  • Jeffrey T. Yamashita
  • Jere Takahashi
  • Jonathan Okamura
  • Joseph Shoji Lachman
  • Joshua Hotaka Roth
  • Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson
  • Joyce Hirohata
  • Jun Okada
  • Jun Uchida
  • Kakuzo Okakura
  • Kaori Tanegashima
  • Karen Inouye
  • Karen Ishizuka
  • Karen Nakamura
  • Karen Shimakawa
  • Karen Umemoto
  • Karl Taro Greenfeld
  • Kathryn Tolbert
  • Katie Okamoto
  • Katsu Kokichi
  • Katsuichi Honda
  • Katsuya Hirano
  • Kazuko Kuramoto
  • Kazuko Nakane
  • Ken Kawashima
  • Kenji Kuramitsu
  • Kent Ono
  • Kerry Yo Nakagawa
  • Koichi Iwabuchi
  • Koichi Mera
  • Koji Steven Sakai
  • Kristen Hayashi
  • Lane Hirabayashi
  • Laura Honda Hasegawa
  • Lawson Fusao Inada
  • Linda Austin
  • Linda Tamura
  • Lisa Hofmann-Kuroda
  • Lisa Nakamura
  • Lisa Tower
  • Lisa Yoneyama
  • Lon Kurashige
  • Lori Kido Lopez
  • Lorraine K. Bannai
  • Lynne Miyake
  • Mari J. Matsuda
  • Maria Sachiko Cecire
  • Marie Mutsuki Mockett
  • Masako Fukawa
  • Masami Kawamura
  • Masayo Duus
  • Masayoshi Shibatani
  • Mayumi Parry
  • Melody Miyamoto Walters
  • Michihiko Hachiya
  • Michiko Iwasaka
  • Michitaro Tada
  • Midori Yamamura
  • Mieko Gavia
  • Mikiso Hane
  • Minae Mizumura
  • Mineko Iwasaki
  • Mira Shimabukuro
  • Mire Koikari
  • Mishio Yamanaka
  • Mitsunori Misawa
  • Mitzi Uehara Carter
  • Miya Tokumitsu
  • Miyako Inoue
  • Mizuko Ito
  • Myra Sachiko Ikeda
  • Naoki Sakai
  • Naoko Shibusawa
  • Naoko Shimazu
  • Naomi Ishisaka
  • Naomi Murakawa
  • Nina Li Coomes
  • Nina Nobu Wallace
  • Noriko Aso
  • Noriko Reider
  • Noriko Sanefuji
  • Robert Shimabukuro
  • Ronald K Inouye
  • Ronald Takaki
  • Ryan Masaaki Yokota
  • S. Floyd Mori
  • Saburo Ienaga
  • Saito Tamaki
  • Satoko Shimazaki
  • Sayo Masuda
  • Scott Kurashige
  • Sei Shonagon
  • Seiji Lippit
  • Setsu Shigematsu
  • Sheila Miyoshi Jager
  • Shiho Imai
  • Sho Sugita
  • Soetsu Yanagi
  • Stefan Tanaka
  • Stephen Fugita
  • Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu
  • Susan Hasegawa
  • Takako Day
  • Takako Lento
  • Takashi Fujitani
  • Takashi Yoshida
  • Takayuki Tatsumi
  • Takeyuki Tsuda
  • Tamiko Nimura
  • Teresa Tamura
  • Tetsuden Kashima
  • Tetsuo Najita
  • Timothy Yamamura
  • Tina Takemoto
  • Tomiko Higa
  • Tomiko Yoda
  • Tomoko Seto
  • Toshio Mori
  • Valerie Katagiri
  • Valerie Matsumoto
  • Wendy Matsumura
  • William Tsutsui
  • Yasuko Takezawa
  • Yoko Hasegawa
  • Yoshiaki Yoshimi
  • Yoshihiko Amino
  • Yoshiko Uehara
  • Yoshikuni Igarashi
  • Yoshimi Takeuchi
  • Yoshio Sugimoto
  • Yuichiro Onishi
  • Yuji Ichioka
  • Yuki Tanaka
  • Yukichi Fukuzawa
  • Yukiko Kimura
  • Yukiko Koshiro
  • Yuko Ogasawara
  • Yumi Moon
  • Yuri Kochiyama
  • Yuriko Nagata

Poets

  • Amy Uyematsu
  • April Naoko Heck
  • Brandon Shimoda
  • Brynn Saito
  • Carolyn Nakagawa
  • Chika Sagawa
  • Christine Kitano
  • Daisuke Shen
  • Daryl Muranaka
  • Heather Nagami
  • Jordan Nakamura
  • Kaneko Misuzu
  • Kazumi Chin
  • Kazumi Heshiki
  • Kenji C. Liu
  • Kimiko Hahn
  • Lawrence Matsuda
  • Lisa Linn Kanae
  • Mari L’Esperance
  • Mia Ayumi Malhotra
  • Mitsuye Yamada
  • Ryan Nakano
  • Ryka Aoki
  • Ryu Ando
  • Sachiko Murakami
  • Sally Ito
  • Sarah Kay
  • Sawako Nakayasu
  • Tamiko Beyer
  • Terry Watada
  • traci kato-kiriyama
  • W. Todd Kaneko
  • Yone Noguchi
  • Yuri Kageyama

Graphic Novelists/Visual Artists

  • Adrian Tomine
  • Audra Furuichi
  • Audrey Kawasaki
  • Chie Boyd
  • Chihiro Howe
  • Cindy Mochizuki
  • C.N.R. Shiotsuki
  • Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi
  • Eduardo Tokeshi
  • Erica Kamanishi
  • Fumio Obata
  • Hannako Lambert
  • Henry Kiyama
  • Hiroshi Yoshida
  • Howard Ikemoto
  • Ichiro Irie
  • Jamie Noguchi
  • Jem Yoshioka
  • Jillian Tamaki
  • Katie Yamasaki
  • Kay Watanabe
  • Kazu Kibuishi
  • Kenzi Shiokava
  • Kiku Hughes
  • Madalena Hashimoto
  • Mariana Yatsuda Ikuta
  • Mariko Tamaki
  • MariNaomi
  • Mayu Kanamori
  • Melanie Ujimori
  • Mine Okubo
  • Naomi Velaphi
  • Nina Matsumoto
  • Oscar Oiwa
  • Patricia Wakida
  • Patssy Higuchi
  • R. Kikuo Johnson
  • Rachel Wada
  • Reiko Murakami
  • Robert Kondo
  • Roger Shimomura
  • Sana Takeda
  • Sandra Nakamura
  • Shinpei Takeda
  • Shizu Okino
  • Shizu Saldamando
  • Stan Sakai
  • Taro Zorrilla
  • Yuki Saeki
  • Yumi Sakugawa
  • Yuriko Rojas Moriyama

Picture Book Creators & Writers

  • トロル
  • Allen Say
  • Chieri Uegaki
  • Florence Sakade
  • Keiko Kasza
  • Mari Takabayashi
  • Sandi Takayama
  • Setsu Broderick
  • Sunny Seki
  • Taro Yashima

Filmmakers

  • 黒澤明
  • Brett Ryoji Kodama
  • Daryn Wakasa
  • Emiko Omori
  • Frank Abe
  • 宮崎吾朗
  • 宮崎駿
  • 高畑勲
  • Kyoko Takenaka
  • Linda Ohama
  • 細田 守
  • Matthew Hashiguchi
  • 河瀨直美

Musicians/Performance Artists

  • Nobuko Miyamoto

If you are Japanese and you have a name to contribute to the list, feel free to tweet or email me!

Since this list is meant to be a resource created BY Japanese people FOR Japanese people, I will not be accepting any recommendations from non-Japanese. If you are non-Japanese, while you are welcome to read the list, please know it wasn’t created for you.

I will be updating the list as I find more names to add, but this will probably not happen on a regular basis. Note: inclusion on the list ≠ endorsement by me. If you’re curious about which of these writers I’ve actually read and recommend, check out my Favorites page.

*For the purposes of this list, I have defined ‘Japanese’ as any individual of Japanese descent, including multi-racial and multi-ethnic individuals.

**Unfortunately, I haven’t read any Japanese authors writing in languages other than Japanese or English. If you are Japanese and you grew up with languages other than Japanese and English – and you know of Japanese authors writing in those languages – please let me know so I can add them to the list!