Japan's best-selling fiction of 2012

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2013/02/07 News

Japan's best-selling fiction of 2012

The top-selling works of fiction in Japan from December 2011 through November 2012 were:

1. Fune o amu (The Great Passage)
by Shion Miura (Kobunsha, 2011) ISBN 978-4334927769
The life and loves of a publishing-house editor who spends many long years compiling a dictionary of Japanese that runs to nearly 3,000 pages. Winner of the 2012 Booksellers Award.

2. Nazotoki wa dina no ato de 1, 2 (The After-Dinner Mysteries 1 & 2)
by Tokuya Higashigawa (Shogakukan, 2010, 2011) ISBN 978-4093862806 (Vol. 1); 978-4093863162 (Vol. 2)
The beautiful heiress to a vast industrial fortune plays detective with the help of her acid-tongued butler in this continuing series of humorous mysteries replete with misadventures and clever puzzling. The first volume won the 2011 Booksellers Award.

3. Koimonogatari (Tale of Love)
by NisiOisiN (Kodansha, 2011) ISBN 978-4062837927
The 12th in the "-monogatari" series that centers on high-school senior Koyomi Araragi. A girl with a crush on Koyomi has made a deal with the gods in exchange for her life.

4. Tomogui (Devouring Each Other)
by Shin'ya Tanaka (Shueisha, 2012) ISBN 978-408714470
A collection of stories that includes the Akutagawa Prize?winning title piece, centering on a 17-year-old boy and his conflicts with his father?whom he hates, yet instinctively finds himself imitating . . .

5. Namiya zakkaten no kiseki (The Miracles of the Namiya General Store)
by Keiko Higashino (Kadokawa, 2012) ISBN 978-4041101360
In a residential district on the edge of the city is an aging general store where people bring their troubles day and night; the concerns and puzzles they come with turn out to be all connected to a certain children's home . . . A quirky new fantasy novel from Japan's top-selling mystery writer.

6. Kyozo no dokeshi: Garireo 7 (The Virtual Clown: Galileo 7) and Kindan no majutsu: Garireo 8 (Forbidden Magic: Galileo 8)
by Keigo Higashino (Bungeishunju, 2012) ISBN 978-4163815701 and 978-4163816906
Two volumes of short stories in the author's "Detective Galileo" series featuring the physicist-sleuth Manabu Yukawa, who solves mysteries with the help of science. The mid-length final story in the latter volume is a minor masterpiece.

7. Kamisama no karute 3 (In His Chart 3)
by Sosuke Natsukawa (Shogakukan, 2012) ISBN 978-4093863360
The third volume in a series featuring Dr. Ichito Kurihara, an internist now in his sixth year working at a 24-hour clinic in a regional Japanese city. He spars over treatment methods with the hotshot woman doctor who recently arrived to replace his late mentor.

8. Tsukimonogatari (Tale of Possession)
by Ishin Nishio (Kodansha, 2012) ISBN 978-4062838122
The 13th in the "-monogatari" series that centers on the high-school senior Koyomi Araragi. In February, with the time for college entrance exams rapidly drawing near, Koyomi encounters yet another strange phenomenon and faces a test of a different kind.

9. Jenosaido (Genocide)
by Kazuaki Takano (Kadokawa, 2011) ISBN 978-4048741835
A top secret project to capture a previously unknown life form in the war-torn Republic of the Congo gets underway. Winner of the 2012 Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Novels, and also ranked Konomys No. 1.

10. Higurashi no ki (Chronicle of Evening Cicadas)
by Rin Hamuro (Shodensha, 2011) ISBN 978-4396633738
A samurai tale set in the late Edo period. A senior clan official comes under a cloud and is ordered to commit harakiri?but not until ten years later, after he has compiled an official history of the clan. The condemned man sets about his task eagerly, but then . . . A Naoki Prize winner.

(As reported by Japan's largest book distributor, Tohan Corporation: www.tohan.jp/cat2/year/2012_2; items 2 and 6 are ranked according to combined sales of the two volumes.)