'Harajuku Sunday' Japan Novel Best-Seller of Christmas Week

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Fierce competition in Amazon ebook rankings shows a top-50 bestseller, 'Harajuku Sunday' an elegaic mood piece about expats lost in Japan.

With 2011 being the first year in which ebook sales exceeded that of physical paperbacks and hardcovers, many eyes were turned to the Amazon.com "Top-50" bestsellers list in Literary Fiction in hopes of spotting 2012's next bestseller before it gets snapped up by the major publishing houses or becomes the passe fringe-hit of last month. In a surprise development, S. Michael Choi's 'HARAJUKU SUNDAY' broke into the top-50 of the literary novel best-seller's list, illustrating perhaps some sympathy vote in the wake of 2011's disastrous tsunami and a growing interest in Japanese culture as the ancient civilization remains a spot of stability in an otherwise war-torn world.

"Many people are unaware that major television scripts, music videos, and novels are freely inspired by works from the other culture," commented the author, S. Michael Choi, who resides and researches in Japan. "Sometimes it becomes possible to show panel by panel how a particular music video was freely 'borrowed' from the other music industry, but of course on a more positive level, authors sometimes find inspiration and/or concept matter from the other culture."

SUNDAY, which was examined by a top-6 publishing house, became ranked as high as #41 in the week following Christmas, as new ebook readers were opened and used, amid fierce competition that included classic novelists from the 19th century. Against competition including Dostoevsky and Shakespeare, it was rare for a first novel to reach this level of the Amazon.com famous 'Bookrank,' and other Japan novelists and the Japan-novel reading crowd are making raves about the generous supply of Japan books this holiday season.

"The basic concept of a country that is seeing negative population growth, basically flat economic growth; what sorts of personalities would even survive there? I think Americans find Japan fascinating because in many ways it is precisely the opposite of the U.S., and yet there are cultural and personal ties and a growing spirit of kinship between two very different cultures," continues Choi.

(SOURCE: S. Michael Choi; statistics from Amazon.com Bookrank)

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