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Famous Writers from Japan

Updated June 8, 2017 48.7k 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.
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  • 1
    Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceFushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 2
    Kazuo Ishiguro is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    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
  • 3
    Kenzaburō Ōe is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceUchiko, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 4
    Yoji Yamada is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceToyonaka, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 5
    Hayao Miyazaki is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceBunkyo, Tokyo, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 6
    Liv Ullmann is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan

    NationalityNorway

    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
  • 7
    Akira Kurosawa is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    Akira Kurosawa

    Dec. at 88 (1910-1998)

    BirthplaceShinagawa, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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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    #617 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#299 of 580 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

  • 8
    Yoko Ono is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    Yoko Ono

    Age: 86

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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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  • 9
    Kōichi Mashimo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    WorksThe Weathering Continent

    Kōichi Mashimo (真下 耕一, Mashimo Kōichi, sometimes credited as Kouchi Mashimo or Kouichi... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Takeshi Kitano is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceAdachi, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    WorksFireworks, Outrage, Sonatine, Zatōichi, Nandalala

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

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    #225 of 742 The Greatest Directors In Movie History#74 of 139 The Greatest Auteurs in Film History

  • 11
    Mitsuo Fukuda is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceTochigi Prefecture, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 12
    Takashi Miike is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceYao, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 13
    Mamoru Oshii is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceŌta, Tokyo, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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 is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    Tomoyuki Tanaka

    Dec. at 87 (1910-1997)

    BirthplaceKashiwara, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 15
    Hideaki Anno is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceUbe, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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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    #223 of 248 The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked#352 of 1,357 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • 16
    Osamu Dezaki is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    Osamu Dezaki

    Dec. at 68 (1943-2011)

    BirthplaceMeguro, Tokyo, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 17
    Yukio Mishima is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    Yukio Mishima

    Dec. at 45 (1925-1970)

    BirthplaceShinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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#16 of 250 The Best Gay Authors

  • 18
    Ann Hui is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    Ann Hui

    Age: 72

    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
  • 19
    Gisaburō Sugii is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    Gisaburō Sugii

    Age: 79

    BirthplaceNumazu, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 20
    Kinji Fukasaku is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    Kinji Fukasaku

    Dec. at 73 (1930-2003)

    BirthplaceMito, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 21
    Kon Ichikawa is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    Kon Ichikawa

    Dec. at 93 (1915-2008)

    BirthplaceIse, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 22
    Noriko Sakai is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceFukuoka, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 23
    Kenji Kawai is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    BirthplaceShinagawa, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 24
    Kaneto Shindo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    Kaneto Shindo

    Dec. at 100 (1912-2012)

    BirthplaceSaeki District, Hiroshima

    NationalityJapan

    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
  • 25
    Frank Spotnitz is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from Japan

    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
WritersAuthorsJapanese People