2009 Top 3 best selling books in Japan

Usually best selling books in Japan are not novels, but this year things have changed and the top best selling book in Japan has been 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. The novel, published by Shinchosha has two volumes, and both occupy the top two spots in the ranking.

Haruki Murakami
1.- The novel 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

The second most sold book during 2009 is “読めそうで読めない間違いやすい漢字” that can be translated as “Kanjis that seem legible but are easy to mix up”. It is a book about Japanese characters that can be confusing or that usually cause problems. It is aimed to Japanese people, and it’s not recommended for Japanese language learners, anyway if you have a Japanese language level near 1-kyu it can be a quite useful tool. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t surprise me that a book like this is the second most sold book, taking into account how complex Japanese language can be, even for native speakers.

Kanji book
2.- Kanjis that are easy to mix up.

And the third spot on the list is occupied by “ドラゴンクエスト9 星空の守り人 大冒険プレイヤーズガイド” which is a guide, published by Shueisha, for the Nintendo DS video game Dragon Quest 9. This third position doesn’t surprise me either because Dragon Quest 9 has been the best selling video game this year in Japan.

Dragon Quest 9 guide
3.- Dragon Quest 9 guide

Via Mainichi.

1 reply on “2009 Top 3 best selling books in Japan”


I have a client who is looking to sell his English Language book in Japan and is looking for the the best marketplace outlets. In your opinion, where are the best locations/websites to list English language titles for Japanese buyers?

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