Japan’s best-selling fiction of 2015

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2016/02/29 News

Japan’s best-selling fiction of 2015

The ten best-selling works of fiction* in Japan from November 27, 2014 through November 26, 2015 were:

1.?Hibana (Sparks)
by Naoki Matayoshi (Bungeishunju, 2015) ISBN 978-4163902302
This first work of fiction by a popular comedian centers on the master-disciple relationship between two comedians, and addresses such issues as the nature of humor and the artist’s life. Sales skyrocketed after it won the Akutagawa Prize, reaching 2.45 million copies by year’s end. The most talked-about work of 2015.

2. Shika no ō 1 & 2 (The Deer King 1 & 2)
by Nahoko Uehashi (Kadokawa, 2014) ISBN 978-4041018880 (Vol. 1); 978-4041018897 (Vol. 2)
A deeply imagined two-volume fantasy tale by an author with a scholarly background in cultural anthropology. Interwoven themes of science and medicine, the relationship between humans and nature, and parental love come together in a page-turner that took the Booksellers Award for the year.

3. Saraba! 1 & 2 (So Long! 1 & 2)
by Kanako Nishi (Shogakukan, 2014) ISBN 978-4093863926 (vol. 1); 978-4093863933 (vol. 2)
A popular young author draws on autobiographical elements from her own life in this ambitious work about a man who spent some of his formative years in Iran and Egypt. The epic tale of personal growth took home the Naoki Prize in 2014.

4. Rapurasu no majo (LaPlace’s Witch)
by Keigo Higashino (Kadokawa, 2015) ISBN 978-4041029893
Deaths from hydrogen-sulfide poisoning occur in quick succession in two far-flung hot-spring resorts. A mysterious young woman named Madoka is seen in both places. Was she involved? The scientific mystery marks 30 years since this perennially best-selling author made his debut.

5. Shitamachi roketto 2: Gaudī keikaku (Downtown Rocket 2: The Gaudi Project)
by Jun Ikeido (Shogakukan, 2015) ISBN 978-4093864299
In this sequel to the author’s Naoki Prize-winning business novel Shitamachi roketto (Downtown Rocket), the company that produced rocket engine valves in the first installment is now developing valves for use in heart surgery. The sequel was immediately adapted to television and continues to sell briskly.

6. Kimi no suizō o tabetai (I Want to Eat Your Pancreas)
by Yoru Sumino (Futabasha, 2015) ISBN 978-4575239058
With a provocative title that brought it a great deal of attention, this new-author debut tells of a lonely high-school boy wrapped up in books who discovers a sad secret about a popular girl in his class. Love intertwines with questions of life and death in a classic tale of youth.

7. Ryū (Flow)
by Akira Higashiyama (Kodansha, 2015) ISBN 978-4062194853
In this coming-of-age story set in Taiwan, a young man seeks answers to the mysterious death of his grandfather, a former member of the Nationalist Party. With a grandness of scale that will remind readers of the Godfather films, the work was awarded the Naoki Prize.

8. Sukurappu ando birudo (Scrap and Build)
by Keisuke Hada (Bungeishunju, 2015) ISBN 978-4163903408
This Akutagawa Prize-winning novella portrays the lives of an elderly man and the daughter and grandson who care for his needs. Author Keisuke Hada’s increased media visibility following his award has kept this work in the limelight.

9. Mangan (A Vow Fulfilled)
by Honobu Yonezawa (Shinchosha, 2014) ISBN 978-4103014744
A collection of six short thrillers, each telling of a strange incident driven by powerful passions, each brilliantly realized with unparalleled skill. The widely acclaimed volume received the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize and a Konomys No. 1 Ranking.

10. Kyōdan X (Cult X)
by Fuminori Nakamura (Shueisha, 2014) ISBN 978-4087715903
Four men and women find their fates under the sway of a leader who rules his occult sect like the personification of pure evil. Soon the cult runs amok and begins to shake the nation to the core. A philosophical novel that portrays a world beyond good and evil.

* As reported by Japan’s largest book distributor, Tohan Corporation; items 2 and 3 are ranked according to combined sales of all volumes.