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Famous Authors from Japan

Updated August 30, 2019 16.4k views868 items

List of the most popular authors from Japan, listed alphabetically with photos when available. For centuries authors have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of storytelling. Whether they're known for fiction, non-fiction, poetry or even technical writing, the famous Japanese authors on this list have kept that tradition alive by writing renowned works that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable Japanese writers, such as when they were born and where their place of birth was.

This is a list that includes authors like Kaiko Takeshi and Yoshida Sunao.

This list answers the questions, "Which famous authors are from Japan?" and "Who are the best Japanese authors?"

For further information on these historic Japanese authors, click on their names. If you're a bookworm then use this list of celebrated Japanese authors to discover some new books that you will enjoy reading.
  • 1
    Yukio Mishima is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Yukio Mishima

    Confessions of a Mask, Forbidden Colors

    BirthplaceShinjuku, Tokyo, Japan



    Yukio Mishima (三島 由紀夫, Mishima Yukio) is the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka (平岡 公威, Hiraoka... more

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    The Tale of The Japanese Author Who Botched A Coup D'etat And Committed Seppuku#296 of 1,172 The Best Writers of All Time

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  • 2
    Yoshihisa Yamamoto is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Yoshihisa Yamamoto

    Phonon-Assisted Exciton-Polariton Emission in a Microcavity, Wannier Exciton Superradiance in a Quantum-Well Microcavity

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Tokyo, Asia, Japan



    Yoshihisa Yamamoto (山本 喜久, Yamamoto Yoshihisa) is a Japanaese physicist and winner of the... more
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  • 3
    Kisho Kurokawa is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Kisho Kurokawa

    Kishō Kurokawa, Kyosei no shiso

    BirthplaceAichi Prefecture, Chūbu region, East Asia, Honshu, Asia



    Kisho Kurokawa was a leading Japanese architect and one of the founders of the Metabolist... more
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  • 4
    Takeshi Shudo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Takeshi Shudo

    Eien no firēna. 7, Eien no firēna. 4

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Asia, Japan, Fukuoka, Kyushu



    Takeshi Shudo (首藤 剛志, Shudō Takeshi, August 18, 1949 – October 29, 2010) was a Japanese... more
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  • 5
    Yoshitsugu Matsuoka is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Yoshitsugu Matsuoka

    The Responsa of Professor Louis Ginzberg, Halakha For Our Time

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Asia, Japan, Hokkaido



    Matsuoka Yoshitsugo is a voice actor.
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  • 6
    Sawako Ariyoshi is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Sawako Ariyoshi

    The Doctor's Wife, The River Ki

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Kansai region, Wakayama Prefecture, Honshu, Asia



    Sawako Ariyoshi (有吉 佐和子 Ariyoshi Sawako, 20 January 1931 – 30 August 1984) was a prolific... more
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  • 7
    Daisaku Ikeda is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Daisaku Ikeda

    Choose Life, Planetary Citizenship

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Tokyo, Asia, Japan



    Daisaku Ikeda (池田 大作, Ikeda Daisaku, born 2 January 1928) is a Japanese Buddhist philosopher,... more
  • 0
  • 8
    Jun Henmi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Jun Henmi

    Otoko-tachi no Yamato

    BirthplaceToyama Prefecture, Chūbu region, East Asia, Honshu, Asia



    Jun Henmi is an author.
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  • 9
    Takashi Nagatsuka is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Takashi Nagatsuka

    The Soil, Nagatsuka Takashi

    BirthplaceKantō region, East Asia, Honshu, Ibaraki Prefecture, Asia



    Takashi Nagatsuka (長塚 節, Nagatsuka Takashi, April 3, 1879–February 8, 1915) was a Japanese... more
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  • 10
    Kenichi Ohmae is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Kenichi Ohmae

    Beyond national borders, The Invisible Continent: Four Strategic Imperatives of the New Economy

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Asia, Japan, Kyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture



    Kenichi Ohmae (大前 研一, Ōmae Ken'ichi, born February 21, 1943) is a Japanese organizational... more
  • 0
  • 11
    Michizō Tachihara is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Authors from Japan
    Michizō Tachihara (立原道造, Tachihara Michizō, July 30, 1914 - March 29, 1939) was a Japanese... more
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  • 12
    Akira Kurosawa is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Akira Kurosawa

    Rashomon, Something like an autobiography

    BirthplaceShinagawa, Japan



    Akira Kurosawa (Kyūjitai: 黒澤 明, Shinjitai: 黒沢 明 Kurosawa Akira; March 23, 1910 – September 6,... more

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    #614 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#296 of 580 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

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  • 13
    Lafcadio Hearn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Lafcadio Hearn

    Kottō; being Japanese curios, with sundry cobwebs

    BirthplaceSoutheast Europe, Lefkada, Greece, Lefkada


    NationalityIreland, Kingdom of Greece, Empire of Japan, United Kingdom, Japan

    Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (; Greek: Πατρίκιος Λευκάδιος Χερν; 27 June 1850 – 26 September 1904),... more
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  • 14
    Takeshi Kitano is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Authors from Japan
    Takeshi Kitano (北野 武, Kitano Takeshi, born 18 January 1947) is a Japanese comedian, television... more

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    #88 of 248 The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked#224 of 742 The Greatest Directors In Movie History

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  • 15
    Liv Ullmann is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Liv Ullmann

    Briefe an mein Enkelkind. Großdruck, Wandlungen

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan



    Liv Johanne Ullmann (born 16 December 1938) is a Norwegian actress and film director. She was... more
  • 0
  • 16
    Mamoru Oshii is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Mamoru Oshii


    BirthplaceŌta, Tokyo, Japan



    Mamoru Oshii (押井 守, Oshii Mamoru, born 8 August 1951) is a Japanese filmmaker, television... more
  • 0
  • 17
    Yoko Ono is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Yoko Ono

    Grapefruit, This is not here

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan



    Yoko Ono (born February 18, 1933) is a Japanese-American multimedia artist, singer, songwriter... more

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    The Best Yoko Ono Albums of All Time#1571 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

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  • 18
    Yasushi Inoue is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Yasushi Inoue

    Der Stierkampf, Bunmei tozen

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Asia, Japan, Hokkaido, Asahikawa



    Yasushi Inoue (井上靖, Inoue Yasushi, May 6, 1907 – January 29, 1991) was a Japanese writer of... more
  • 0
  • 19
    Mitsuo Fukuda is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Mitsuo Fukuda

    Reliability and degradation of semiconductor lasers and LEDs, Optical semiconductor devices

    BirthplaceTochigi Prefecture, Japan



    Mitsuo Fukuda (福田 己津央, Fukuda Mitsuo, 福田 満夫 before 1990) (born November 28, 1960) is a... more
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  • 20
    Noriko Sakai is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Noriko Sakai

    Noripī rando, Noripīchan

    BirthplaceFukuoka, Japan



    Noriko Sakai (酒井 法子, Sakai Noriko, born February 14, 1971) is a Japanese singer and actress.... more
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  • 21
    Osamu Tezuka is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Osamu Tezuka

    Yami No Matsuei 11, Adolf

    BirthplaceOsaka Prefecture, East Asia, Kansai region, Honshu, Toyonaka



    Osamu Tezuka (Japanese: 手塚 治虫, born 手塚 治, Hepburn: Tezuka Osamu, (1928-11-03)3 November 1928... more
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  • 22
    Shūsaku Endō is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Shūsaku Endō

    The golden country, The Samurai

    BirthplaceKantō region, East Asia, Honshu, Tokyo, Asia



    Shūsaku Endō (遠藤 周作, Endō Shūsaku, March 27, 1923 – September 29, 1996) was a Japanese author... more
  • 0
  • 23
    Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Haruki Murakami

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore

    BirthplaceFushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan



    Series WrittenTrilogy of the Rat

    Haruki Murakami (村上 春樹, Murakami Haruki, born January 12, 1949) is a Japanese writer. His... more
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  • 24
    Mako Iwamatsu is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Authors from Japan
    Makoto Iwamatsu (岩松誠, Iwamatsu Makoto, December 10, 1933 – July 21, 2006) was a Japanese... more
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  • 25
    Leiji Matsumoto is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Authors from Japan

    Leiji Matsumoto

    Capitaine Albator, tome 5

    BirthplaceKurume, East Asia, Asia, Japan, Kyushu



    Leiji Matsumoto (松本零士, Matsumoto Reiji, born Akira Matsumoto 松本晟, January 25, 1938 in Kurume,... more
AuthorsWritersJapanese People