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7 Best Japanese Horror Books (2024)

Best Japanese Horror Books

Complex and Exciting

The horror reading genre is one of the most thrilling ones to read as nothing gets you focused on the story and nothing else as a good horror situation that could blow up at any minute.

The characters in horror books are also some of the most complex and exciting ones as it’s always a thrilling experience when a new one gets introduced to the plot. The Japanese books on this list are some of the best Japanese horror books that will surprise you with the fascinating plots inside.

In the Miso Soup by Ryū Murakami


Famous Novel

Ryū Murakami is a famous Japanese novelist and filmmaker and this is an exciting Japanese horror book by him that tells the story of two characters, one Japanese and one American.

Overweight American

The scene is set during a time period around New Years and the first character that you get to meet who is very important to the story is Frank. He is an overweight American and is visiting Japan.


The second character who is no less important than Frank is Kenji, a person who Frank has hired to show him around Tokyo, mostly guiding him around the city and showing him where he can have the best time during the nightlife there.

The scary parts start coming in when Kenji becomes terrified after he suspects that the huge Frank is, in fact, the serial killer that has gotten the attention of the authorities in Tokyo. The story gets super juicy after that.

Dark Water by Kōji Suzuki


Short Horror Stories

Dark Water is a horror book that actually contains a collection of short horror stories written by the Japanese writer Kōji Suzuki.

Some of the stories inside have been adapted to movies which is enough to show you that you can expect a good horror experience from the stories inside.

Scary and Exciting

A few of the stories that you will find inside are Floating Water, in which you read about a mother and a daughter who take refuge in an abandoned apartment building where they discover that a young girl vanished from there a while ago.

Then there is Solitary Isle, where things get super scary on an artificial island where a bunch of deaths stir up a whole lot of drama and horror. There are a few more that hold even more exciting stories filled with scary events and characters.

Tomie by Junji Ito


Any Man

This horror book centers on Tomie herself, a character described as a woman who can seduce any man with her beauty and passion.

Her power to seduce and control men comes in very handy for the various reasons that you will find out in the book yourself, just know that Tomie’s story is a long and scary one as this is only the first book of Junji Ito’s series, called Tomie.

Worth a Read

Anyway, there are many events that happen inside and we can’t cover all of them here, but you can rest assured that this book will definitely be worth a read if you truly enjoy Japanese horror stories as you also get to meet plenty of characters inside who regret ever crossing paths with Tomie.

Uzumaki Book Series by Junji Ito


Kirie and Shuichi

Here is master Junji Ito again with a few more of the best Japanese horror books ever written. It’s the Uzumaki horror book series in which there are a total of 6 books. In these books, you get to read about the very mysterious lives of Kirie Goshima and her boyfriend Shuichi Saito and the people of the Japanese town where they live in, called Small.

Spiral Curse

Kirie and Shuichi have tough lives as you read about the spiral curse, a series of terrible events that keep happening to everyone around them. Many of the extra characters that you meet throughout the series all become victims of this curse and the story only gets juicer as you read further.

Out by Natsuo Kirino


Tokyo Suburbs

Out by Natsuo Kirino is a novel that combines crime and horror as you get to read about some very disturbing events that are happening somewhere in the Tokyo suburbs. The tale follows around 4 women who work together. They lead pretty normal lives until one of them decides to strangle her deadbeat husband and ask for these women’s help to dispose of the body and clear the crime scene.


Masako Katori is a character that is described as the leader of these four women and the one who calls many of the shots in the group. The story later reveals a lot of drama as well and this tale quickly manages to become super addicting as the thrilling events just keep happening one after another in these women’s lives.

Another by Yukito Ayatsuji


Kouichi Sakakibara

This is a horror story by Yukito Ayatsuji that involves a character named Kouichi Sakakibara. His horror journey begins when he transfers to a school called Yomiyama North Middle School in 1998.

He is not a strange kid but he soon realizes that everyone is looking at him strangely and being careful when they are around him, but mostly everyone just avoids him as much as he can and Kouichi just can’t figure out why that is.

Vengeful Spirit

That’s the case until he realizes that he has been placed in Class 3, a class the is cursed by a vengeful spirit who is responsible for messy deaths and murders, and all those who are in that class must suffer as well. There is a thrilling story following later in the book.

Ring Book Series by Kōji Suzuki


Movie Classic

The Ring by Kōji Suzuki series is a classic horror story that many have probably already seen or heard from movies or other stories. It talks about the mysterious videotape that brings a curse to whoever is unlucky enough to see it.


The 6 books in this series are perfect examples of what a true horror story looks like as there are plenty of events in this series that will give you goosebumps. Hopefully, you enjoyed this list on some of the best Japanese horror books out there as there are some truly gruesome things waiting for you inside these stories.

Robert Hazley

Robert is a science fiction and fantasy geek. (He is also the best looking Ereads writer!) Besides reading and writing, he enjoys sports, cosplay, and good food (don't we all?). Currently works as an accountant (would you believe that?)