8. Representative Texts and Authors
Asia, the largest continent in the world, has
a vast literary tradition in terms of scope
and length of existence. Literature in the
Eastern hemisphere prospered and
mirrored the developments in religion, war,
One of the world’s cradles of civilization, has
started its unbroken literary tradition in the
14th century BCE. The preservation of the
Chinese language (both spoken and written),
has made the immeasurable prolonged
existence of their literary traditions possible. It
has retained its reputation by keeping the
fundamentals of its identity intact.
Poets like Du Fu, Li Po, and Wang Wei
of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the finest
era of Chinese literature, has produced
world-renowned literary works.
13. DU FU
He is also known as Tu Fu.
to many literary
was the greatest
Chinese poet of all time. He
wrote the poem “The Ballad of
the Army Cats” which is about
conscription—and with hidden
satire that speaks of the
noticeable luxury of the court.
He is also known as Li Bai, a
Chinese poet who is a competitor
of Du Fu as China’s greatest poet.
He was romantic in his personal
life and his poetry. His works are
known for its conversational tone
and vivid imagery. He wrote the
poem “Alone and Drinking under
the Moon” that deals with the
ancient social custom of drinking.
15. WANG WEI
He was a poet, painter,
musician, and statesman during
the Tang dynasty (the
ages of the Chinese
He was the established founder
of the respected Southern school
of painter-poets. Many of his best
poems were inspired by the local
16. MO YAN
He was a fictionist who won the
2012 Nobel Prize for Literature.
His first novel was “Red
Sorghum”, and still his
It tells the story of the Chinese
battling Japanese intruders as well
as each other during the 1930s. It
relates the story of a family in a
rural area in Shandong Province
during this turbulent time.
Korea’s literary tradition is greatly influenced by
China’s cultural dominance.
As early as the 4th century CE, Korean poets
wrote literary pieces in Classical Chinese poetry
then transformations happened at the 7th
century. Hangul, Korean’s distinct writing system
and national alphabet, is developed in the 15th
century that gave new beginnings of Korean
In contemporary times, the Korean War has
made a significant mark on Korean literature.
In 1950, the themes present in the
works are about alienation, conscience,
disintegration, and self- identity.
21. Ch’oe Nam-Seon
He was considered a
in the Korean
modern literary movement
and became notable in
22. Ch’oe Nam-Seon
One of his works, the poem
"The Ocean to the Youth” made
him a widely acclaimed poet.
The poem aimed to produce
cultural reform. He sought to
bring modern knowledge about
the world to the youth of Korea.
23. Yi Kwang-su
He was one who
movement together with
Nam-Seon. He was a novelist and
wrote the first Korean novel “The
Heartless” and became well-known
because of it.
24. Yi Kwang-su
It was a description of the
crossroads at which Korea
found itself, stranded between
tradition and modernity, and
undergoing conflict between
social realities and traditional
It has a rich and unique literary history
even though it has been influenced by the
Chinese language and Chinese literature.
It has a world-renowned poetic genre
called haiku ( a short descriptive poem with
17 syllables) and the diverse forms of theatre
Noh (traditional Japanese theatrical form
and one of the oldest extant theatrical forms
in the world) and Kabuki (traditional
Japanese popular drama with singing and
dancing performed in a highly stylized
In contemporary times, Western influences
take part in the Japanese literature, specifically in
of modernJapan ese novels,
the poetry, and reinventions of
traditional Japanese poetic forms like haiku and
tanka. Playwrights like Abe Kobo and Mishima
Yukio are Japan’s notable literalists.
29. ABE KOBO
He was a Japanese novelist
and playwright and also known
pseudonym of Abe
(Friends) which is a story, with
dark humor, reveals the
relationship with the other, and
exposes the peculiarity of human
relations in the present age."
30. ABE KOBO
He also won the 1967
Akutagawa Award. He also won
the 1951 Akutagawa Award for
his short novel Kabe (“The Wall”).
31. Kimitake Hiraoka
He is also known by the pen
20th century. He was one
important Japanese novelist of
name Mishima Yukio, the most
finalists of the 1963 Nobel Prize for
Literature and won numerous awards
for his works. He wrote the novel “The
Temple of the Golden Pavilion” and
won Yomiuri Prize from Yomiuri
Newspaper Corporation for the best
32. Kimitake Hiraoka
“The Temple of the Golden
Pavilion”, translated into the English
language by Ivan Morris, based on
the burning of the Reliquary (or
of Kinkaku-Ji in
Kyoto by a young Buddhist acolyte in
33. Ryūnosuke Akutagaw
He was a Japanese writer and
regarded as the Father of the
Japanese short story. He wrote the
short story “Rashomon” that
recounts the encounter between a
servant and an old woman in the
dilapidated Rashōmon, the southern
gate of the then-ruined city of Kyoto,
where unclaimed corpses were
35. Haruki Murakami
was a Japanese
who won the
international award Jerusalem
Prize. He also won the Gunzou
Literature Prize for his first
novel “Hear the Wind Sing”.
36. Haruki Murakami
It featured episodes in the life of
an unnamed protagonist and his
friend, the Rat, who hang out at a bar.
The unnamed protagonist
and muses about life and
Murakami’s work has been translated
into more than fifty languages.