It's been a while since I did a rundown of things not yet in English that have caught my attention recently. Kataribe I did a full piece on, of course, but here's some other things from the shelf that so far have not gotten justice.
Most anything by Baku Yumemakura, the novelist whose adaptations of the Abe no Seimei quasi-legend were made into the Onmyoji films. The books were also adapted into some of the most gorgeous manga imaginable — which are also, inexplicably, not available here — and one of his short-story collections (Akumugurai, "Nightmare Devourer") caught my eye thanks to its Yoshitaka Amano cover art.
For every Ryū Murakami that comes out here (like Coin Locker Babies or Almost Transparent Blue), there are a bunch that don't. Among them is Topaz, the novel Tokyo Decadence was based on. It's short, weighing in at barely more than 200 pages, so perhaps it could be anthologized along with some of his other works not yet published domestically.
Most readers of this blog know about Masami Akita as Merzbow, but he's also a fairly prolific writer. The Trevor Brown cover art of Terminal Body Play makes it a collector's item, but his book Noise War — about the industrial-music scene until roughly the end of the Eighties — would make a nice addition to the literature of the movement. Of which there is not enough — Charles Neal's Tape Delay is really good, and I ought to talk about it in depth at some point, but I'm deadly curious to see what Akita (himself a member of said scene) has to say about the whole shebang.
Filmmaker Shunji Iwai is another fellow with novel-writing as a side hobby, and in the case of both Swallowtail Butterfly and All About Lily Chou-chou he penned books to go with the films. (In the case of the latter, the book preceded the film and was partly derived from an experimental website set up by the author, where people could come and contribute writings about a fictional singer-songwriter.) Butterfly is another short one that could stand to be packaged as a two-fer with Lily.