Where to find Japanese Essays

I’m looking for essays like the kind in Read Real Japanese or ベスト・エッセイ2023. I know that there are literary magazines that publish essays, but does anyone know of online resources? Free would be great, but I’m not opposed to paying for a subscription if necessary.


Sometimes if you search for sth random you’ll stumble across an essay

There are these websites (altho I’m not sure if they’re what you’re looking for)
Digital Book Japan (it’s a bit glitchy ngl)

Syosetu also has an エッセイ section altho they mostly seem like they’re about the site itself

This one has awards for エッセイ about reading

This one is also an essay award with past entries

Another award (fewer essays here)


When I think of essays, I tend to think of books more than anything. Searching エッセイ on Japanese Amazon brought up a ton of hits. I would recommend just choosing a topic your interested in and searching for an essay collection on that subject via Amazon/Kindle


or BookLive/BookWalker if you’re not in Japan


The essay collections I was interested in on amazon.jp unfortunately don’t have kindle editions, which was why I was looking for other digital alternatives. I’ve been enjoying reading essays with a wide variety of topics and voices, which was why I was struggling with some of the kindle options I did see, since lots of the books either focus on a single topic or contain essays all by a single author.

I know my criteria is pretty specific haha, so thanks for your help anyways. I have been using Kindle books on amazon.jp for other things (comic essays, novels, etc.) and I agree it’s an amazing resource


They might be older essays, but aozora does have quite a few essays and short-form non fiction writings

Here’s a few recs from our resident aozora aficionado that might include some of the kinds of things you’re looking for (although not all of these are essays):

I also thought this one was really funny to read: 美味い豆腐の話 | L32

As for modern stuff, not sure. You might have some luck looking for opinion pieces on newspaper sites. I know 朝日新聞 has a section, but they’re mostly behind a paywall: オピニオンニュース:朝日新聞デジタル.

If you have any writers from those specific books you like, probably the best thing you can do is just to go look for more essays by those people, though! Any site that hosts their essays will probably have more in the same vein


For a nice mix of science and culture I like these:

Also, some publisher sites that might have some gold, but you have to dig, tree novel has an essay tab

That is a neat idea…