Junichiro Tanizaki

Junichiro Tanizaki

Junichiro Tanizaki was born in Tokyo in 1886. He was “the outstanding Japanese novelist of the century” (Edmund White, The New York Times Book Review). His numerous works include The Makioka Sisters, Some Prefer Nettles, and In Praise of Shadows.

The Maids

Fiction by Junichiro Tanizaki

Translated by Michael P. Cronin

The Maids concerns all the young women who work—before, during, and after WWII—in the pampered, elegant household of the famous author Chikura Raikichi. Though quite well-to-do, Raikichi has a small house: the family and the maids (usually a few, sharing a little room next to the kitchen) are on top of one another. This proximity allows Raikichi to observe the maids and their daily lives extremely closely, and while the house may be straight from The Makioka Sisters, his interest carries with it more than a dash of the erotic, calling to mind Tanizaki’s raciest books, such as Diary of a Mad Old Man and The Key.…
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Devils in Daylight

Fiction by Junichiro Tanizaki

Translated by J. Keith Vincent

One morning, Takahashi, a writer who has just stayed up all night working, is interrupted by a phone call from his old friend Sonomura. Barely able to contain his excitement, Sonomura claims that he has cracked a secret cryptographic code based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Gold-Bug” and now knows exactly when and where a murder will take place—and they must hurry if they want to witness the murder, because it’s happening later that very night!…
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A Cat, A Man, and Two Women

Fiction by Junichiro Tanizaki

Translated from the Japanese by Paul McCarthy

The three pieces in this collections—the novella “A Cat, A Man, and Two Women” and two shorter pieces, “The Little Kingdom” and “Professor Rado”—are lighthearted and entertaining variations on one of Tanizaki’s favorite preoccupations: dominance and submission in relationships, complicated here by customs, public opinion, and comic grotesqueries. In the title piece, the bumbling Shozo is caught in the middle of an ongoing struggle between his ex-wife and her younger successor.…
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What unfolds is a murder mystery that is an homage to the classic American writer Edgar Allen Poe, and a meditation on the art of fiction. The author, Junichiro Tanizaki, was arguably Japan’s greatest twentieth-century novelist.


A rumination about the nature of fiction itself.


Skillfully and subtly, Tanizaki brushes in a delicate picture of a gentle world that no longer exists.

San Francisco Chronicle

Tanizaki is a very brilliant novelist.

—Haruki Murakami

Tanizaki is one of my favorites. His books are about love and very often perverse aspects of love.

—Henry Miller

Tanizaki was a great writer. He understood the fetish-making fecundity of love, and the satisfactions it offers even while giving pain, and its perverse, inverse accountings.

—John Updike

The outstanding Japanese novelist of this century.

—Edmund White
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