Japanese People
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Famous Writers from Japan

Updated June 8, 2017 49.0k views1.2k items

List of famous writers from Japan, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Japan is home to many prolific writers, including those who write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and more. These are some of the best Japanese writers that have ever lived, so if you're a native of Japan and an aspiring writer then use this list as inspiration to achieve your own writing goals.

Examples of writers on this list include Hiroshi Teshigahara and Atsumu Ohmura.

This list answers the questions, "Who are popular Japanese writers?" and "Which writers are from Japan?"

You can click on the names of these renowned writers of Japan in order to get more information about each one. Some of these historic writers may no longer be living in Japan, but they're all of Japan descent.
  • Haruki Murakami1

    BirthplaceFushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan


    WorksThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, Norwegian Wood, After the Quake, Sputnik Sweetheart

    Haruki Murakami (村上 春樹, Murakami Haruki, born January 12, 1949) is a Japanese writer. His... more on Wikipedia
  • Kazuo Ishiguro2

    BirthplaceNagasaki, Japan

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, Japan, England

    WorksNever Let Me Go, The Remains of the Day, The Saddest Music in the World, An Artist of the Floating World, The Unconsoled

    Sir Kazuo Ishiguro (born 8 November 1954) is a British novelist, screenwriter, and... more on Wikipedia
  • Kenzaburō Ōe3

    BirthplaceUchiko, Japan


    WorksThe Game of Contemporaneity, Aghwee the Sky Monster, The Silent Cry, The Pinch Runner Memorandum, The Day He Himself Shall Wipe My Tears Away

    Kenzaburō Ōe (大江 健三郎, Ōe Kenzaburō, born 31 January 1935) is a Japanese writer and a major... more on Wikipedia
  • Yoji Yamada4

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


    WorksThe Twilight Samurai, Love and Honor, Castle of Sand, The Hidden Blade, About Her Brother

    Yoji Yamada (山田 洋次, Yamada Yōji, born September 13, 1931 in Toyonaka, Osaka) is a Japanese... more on Wikipedia
  • Hayao Miyazaki5

    BirthplaceBunkyo, Tokyo, Japan


    WorksSpirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service

    Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎 駿, Miyazaki Hayao, born January 5, 1941) is a Japanese animator, filmmaker,... more on Wikipedia
  • Liv Ullmann6

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan

    NationalityJapan, Norway

    WorksKristin Lavransdatter, Sofie, Briefe an mein Enkelkind. Großdruck, Wandlungen

    Liv Johanne Ullmann (born 16 December 1938) is a Norwegian actress and film director. She was... more on Wikipedia
  • Akira Kurosawa7

    Akira Kurosawa

    Dec. at 88 (1910-1998)

    BirthplaceShinagawa, Japan


    WorksSeven Samurai, Ran, Rashomon, Runaway Train, Yojimbo

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

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    #643 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time#354 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

  • Yoko Ono8

    Yoko Ono

    Age: 86

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Tokyo, Asia, Japan


    WorksBottoms, Fly, Two Virgins, Freedom, No. 5

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

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    The Best Yoko Ono Albums of All Time#1467 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

  • 9

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan


    WorksThe Weathering Continent

    Kōichi Mashimo (真下 耕一, Mashimo Kōichi, sometimes credited as Kouchi Mashimo or Kouichi... more on Wikipedia
  • Takeshi Kitano10

    BirthplaceAdachi, Japan


    WorksFireworks, Outrage, Sonatine, Zatōichi, Nandalala

    Takeshi Kitano (北野 武, Kitano Takeshi, born 18 January 1947) is a Japanese comedian, television... more on Wikipedia
  • Mitsuo Fukuda11

    BirthplaceTochigi Prefecture, Japan


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

    Mitsuo Fukuda (福田 己津央, Fukuda Mitsuo, 福田 満夫 before 1990) (born November 28, 1960) is a... more on Wikipedia
  • Takashi Miike12

    BirthplaceYao, Japan


    WorksThe Great Yokai War, Sukiyaki Western Django, Lesson of the Evil

    Takashi Miike (三池 崇史, Miike Takashi, born August 24, 1960) is a Japanese filmmaker. He has... more on Wikipedia
  • Mamoru Oshii13

    BirthplaceŌta, Tokyo, Japan


    WorksGhost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Angel's Egg, The Red Spectacles, Rebellion: The Killing Isle

    Mamoru Oshii (押井 守, Oshii Mamoru, born 8 August 1951) is a Japanese filmmaker, television... more on Wikipedia
  • 14

    Tomoyuki Tanaka

    Dec. at 87 (1910-1997)

    BirthplaceKashiwara, Japan


    WorksRebirth of Mothra, Rebirth of Mothra II, Mount Hakkoda

    Tomoyuki Tanaka (田中 友幸, Tanaka Tomoyuki) was a Japanese film producer, most famous for... more on Wikipedia
  • Hideaki Anno15

    BirthplaceUbe, Japan


    WorksThe End of Evangelion, Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

    Hideaki Anno (庵野 秀明, Anno Hideaki, born May 22, 1960) is a Japanese animator, film director,... more on Wikipedia

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    #383 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time#200 of 249 The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked

  • Osamu Dezaki16

    Osamu Dezaki

    Dec. at 68 (1943-2011)

    BirthplaceMeguro, Tokyo, Japan


    WorksBlack Jack: The Movie, Champion Joe

    Osamu Dezaki (出﨑 統, Dezaki Osamu, November 18, 1943 – April 17, 2011), also known as Makura... more on Wikipedia
  • Yukio Mishima17

    Yukio Mishima

    Dec. at 45 (1925-1970)

    BirthplaceShinjuku, Tokyo, Japan


    WorksThirst for Love, The Temple of Dawn, Patriotism, Enjō, The Sound of Waves

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

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    The Tale of The Japanese Author Who Botched A Coup D'etat And Committed Seppuku#290 of 1,172 The Best Writers of All Time

  • Ann Hui18

    Ann Hui

    Age: 73

    BirthplaceAnshan, China

    NationalityHong Kong, Republic of China

    WorksBlack Mask, The Postmodern Life of My Aunt, The Opium War, The Romance of Book and Sword, As Time Goes By

    Ann Hui On-wah, MBE, BBS, (traditional Chinese: 許鞍華; simplified Chinese: 许鞍华; pinyin: Xǔ... more on Wikipedia
  • Gisaburō Sugii19

    Gisaburō Sugii

    Age: 79

    BirthplaceNumazu, Japan


    WorksStreet Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Guskō Budori no Denki

    Gisaburō Sugii (杉井ギサブロー or 杉井儀三郎, Sugii Gisaburō, born August 20, 1940) is a Japanese anime... more on Wikipedia
  • Kinji Fukasaku20

    Kinji Fukasaku

    Dec. at 73 (1930-2003)

    BirthplaceMito, Japan


    WorksVirus, Shogun's Samurai, Samurai Reincarnation, Legend of the Eight Samurai, A Chaos of Flowers

    Kinji Fukasaku (深作 欣二, Fukasaku Kinji, 3 July 1930 – 12 January 2003) was a Japanese film... more on Wikipedia
  • Kon Ichikawa21

    Kon Ichikawa

    Dec. at 93 (1915-2008)

    BirthplaceIse, Japan


    WorksThe Burmese Harp, Tokyo Olympiad, Odd Obsession, Galaxy Express 999, Dora-heita

    Kon Ichikawa (市川 崑, Ichikawa Kon, November 20, 1915 – February 13, 2008) was a Japanese film... more on Wikipedia
  • Noriko Sakai22

    BirthplaceFukuoka, Japan


    WorksNoripī rando, Noripīchan, Shokuzai

    Noriko Sakai (酒井 法子, Sakai Noriko, born February 14, 1971) is a Japanese singer and actress.... more on Wikipedia
  • Kenji Kawai23

    BirthplaceShinagawa, Japan


    WorksMezame No Hakobune

    Kenji Kawai (川井 憲次, Kawai Kenji, born April 23, 1957) is a Japanese music composer for motion... more on Wikipedia
  • Kaneto Shindo24

    Kaneto Shindo

    Dec. at 100 (1912-2012)

    BirthplaceSaeki District, Hiroshima


    WorksEdo Porn, Onibaba, Kuroneko, Hachiko Monogatari, Manji

    Kaneto Shindo (新藤 兼人, Shindō Kaneto, April 22, 1912 – May 29, 2012) was a Japanese film... more on Wikipedia
  • Frank Spotnitz25

    BirthplaceCamp Zama, Japan

    NationalityUnited States of America, Japan

    WorksThe X-Files: I Want to Believe

    Frank Spotnitz (born 17 November 1960) is an American television writer and executive... more on Wikipedia