Japanese mystery horror novels are as frightening as Japanese horrors movies. We experience different tastes of Japanese horror stories through manga, anime and film. They are not like traditional American horror novels which I read for example, The Shinning by Stephen King and The October Country by Ray Bradbury. I admit these are one of the greatest American horror novels ever published but I have a list of best Japanese horror novels which could blow your mind.
Usually, Japanese horror novels are filled with mystery, twist and drama. I have read a lot of Japanese horror novels and while making this list I had to think twice – thinking which one to exclude and which one to include. It was a pretty tough job! Though I would share only the best ones so that you could enjoy the most and feel that they are scarier than most of Japanese horror movies. I hope you choose at least one of these and spend your free time reading these great horror books.
1) Confessions by Kanae Minato
“Confessions” is one of my all time favorite Japanese horror novels. This is not an old horror novel, in fact it was published on August 19th 2014 by Mulholland Books. The story is great including each chapter. One of the things that I like in this book is the style of writing, it is superb! The author – Kanae Minato knows how to make you curious from first page to the last page. It is an addictive book that you would like to read over and over again. The story is about a teacher called Yuko Moriguchi who wants to take revenge on the enemy (the students who kill her daughter). The climax is horrible and shocking at the same time. I believe you should read this novel as soon as possible.
2) Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
The book – Battle Royale was published on April, 1999 by Ohta Publishing. First I read this book then watched the movie. I think that was the best way to compare this in two different platforms. I like the book tale better than the film which was released in 2000. A group of secondary school students are forced to take arms against each other until only one student in each class remains. Remember that someone is going to escape in the end, find yourself who does it! It is kind of adventure novel The Hunger Games. If you like the Hunger Games, I am sure this one would reveal something new that you would like to read. I highly recommend this book to you if you like novel genre like horror, suspense, crime, thriller and mystery. Get this book right away.
3) Another by Yukito Ayatsuji
There are many horror novels that sound pretty horrible to you but when you start reading them you feel like “I feel nothing like that at all.” In fact that could happen but to be honest with you this is the scarier Japanese novel I have ever read in my life. Those of you who like reading horror books should read this book; I bet you that you will be thrilled and horrified. The ending part of it absolutely unforgettable! Discover the all mysterious deaths till the end of the book’s page and reveal who is the main cause of this . Read this well written horror novel – not at night (if you dare) but only on day time! Buy it now.
4) Ring by Koji Suzuki
This is one of the greatest horror novels in Japanese literature. You read many books in your life but have you ever wanted to read a Japanese horror novel? I believe, Ring could satisfy you the most when you search for horror genre novel. It is a great treasure of my bookshelf which I sometimes read when I stay alone in our house. Then I feel like someone is watching me from a close distance and wants to horrify me. It creates an atmosphere that I really adore because that is for why the book was published, was not it? Though I don’t want to be a reporter like Kazuyuki Asakawa (the main patragonist from the novel). Don’t watch the movie either the Japanese or American version but first read the book! Get it here.
5) OUT by Natsuo Kirino
This is a great Japanese horror crime fiction novel that I read for the first time in 2005. A friend of mine bought this from a bookstore located in Shinjuku, Tokyo. I borrowed this book from him for few days and then after reading it fully I returned it. I was thinking like I should have bought this earlier (before my friend) as it was first published in 1997. The main character of this novel are Masako, Kuniko, Yayoi and Yoshie. They do have their own hard lives and all of them work at a Japanese bento factory as night shift employee. I just want to tell you one thing that Yayoi kills her husband and the real climax starts from there. Explore yourself reading this book.
6) The Summer of the Ubume by Natsuhiko Kyogoku
Natsuhiko Kyogoku is a popular writer who usually writes mystery, horror and fiction genre of books. In fact The Summer of the ubume is the first ever novel he has written. Japanese believe in superstitions, do you? This novel is written based on a traditional Japanese superstition where a ghost arises from the burial of a pregnant woman is called an Ubume. You will find out how Kyogokudo deal with every difficulty he faces. I don’t care if you believe in spirits or not, the most important thing is that it would be hard to put your book down once you start reading it. Whatever you think of it, I believe it is a MUST read book for anyone who especially like horror genre book. Get this book here.
7) Goth by Otsuichi
Goth is an ideal book for the fans of the macabre. I know it is horrifying reading every page of this book. I was pretty excited reading it till the end of the page. To be honest with you I took only 4 straight days finishing it from start to finish. In fact at that time I was on vacation. The book is easy to read and understand every word. It is a novel that contains a series of six short stories about two high school students. Both of them are quite fascinated with death and murder. This is a great novel which could reveal very unique crime facts that you have never known before from other crime horror books. Buy this here.
8) Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse by Otsuichi
I am a big fan of Otsuichi and he does not disappoint his millions of fans including me. The book contains two beautiful novellas (Summer, Fireworks and my Corpse, Yuko) and one short story (Black Fairy Tale). These stories are fully mysterious and thrilling especially Black Fairy Tale. It is about a young Japanese girl who loses one of her eyes in a accident. She receives a transplant but something horrible is going to be happened. You cannot ignore a book like this when it comes to taking about real mystery horror novel. Please find more here.
9) The Crimson Labyrinth by Yusuke Kishi
The Crimson Labyrinth is a dark, survival horror and twisting Japanese novel. Before start reading it make sure you have enough time to read at least 30 pages at a stretch. It is readable and you would hardly stop reading it, I bet you! I absolutely love the story as it goes till the end. The story is about a game or so called survival game (The Mars Labyrinth) in which your main goal is to survive. Could Yoshihiko Fujiki (Main character) could trust others who are also part of this game? Is he going to be killed by his opponents? Find out all the answers here.
10) Parasite Eve by Hideaki Sena
This is an outstanding Japanese science fiction horror novel written by Hideaki Sena. After it was published, the novel has become quite popular to many readers as a result we were offered to play even a video game developed by square. That’s not the end we were also offered to watch a film and manga series as well. Please note that it became the first winner of the Japan Horror Novel Award. As you start reading it you will get familiar with the main character Dr. Toshiaki Nagashima who loses his beloved wife Kiyomi in a car accident. You have to reveal how Dr. Nagashima deals with it after losing her beautiful wife. Please find this book here.
Hey, why don’t you check out the top Japanese crime & mystery horror novels of all time. I hope you find some books to read this year summer.
Reading horror novels in a freezing cold night is pretty exciting and thrilling. I have celebrated this year New Year quite nicely and now I have decided to read one of these tonight as the weather forecast says it would be snowing all the night. I do hope you would also like to read one of these not only in winter season but in summer when you have enough time to read books on the beach. Thank you.
Copyright 2016 @ takkhis