Image of Marvin Marcus.

Marvin Marcus

​Professor of Japanese Language and Literature
PhD, University of Michigan
MA, University of Michigan
MLA, Johns Hopkins University
research interests:
  • Literature of the Meiji-Taisho Periods (1868-1926)
  • Japanese Biographical and Autobiographical Literature
  • Japanese Literary Journalism

contact info:

office hours:

  • ​Monday 3:00 - 4:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:30 - 10:30 am
  • Or By Appointment

mailing address:

  • WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
  • CB 1111
  • ONE BROOKINGS DR.
  • ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899

Professor Marcus’s area of specialization is modern Japanese literature of the prewar (so-called kindai ) period, and his research has focused on personal narrative and ‘life writing’—memoir, reminiscence, essay, diary, and autobiography.​

For more information, visit Marvin Marcus's department profile.

Japanese Literature: From Murasaki to Murakami

Japanese Literature: From Murasaki to Murakami

Japanese Literature: From Murasaki to Murakami provides a concise introduction to the literature of Japan that traces its origins in the seventh century and explores a literary legacy—and its cultural contexts—marked by the intersection of aristocratic elegance and warrior austerity. Coverage extends to the present day with a focus on the complex twists and turns that mark Japan's literature in the modern period.

In under one-hundred pages of narrative, Marcus’s account of Japanese literature ranges from the 712 CE publication of Japan’s first literary work, the Kojiki, to internationally-famous 21st century authors. Readers get a sense of past and contemporary literary themes and well written vignettes of the men and women who produced works that are an integral part of Japan’s literary traditions. Readers are introduced to Japanese literature, but Marcus’s linkages to history and culture increase the likelihood that many readers will be inspired to learn more about Japan and its rich history.