Hard-Boiled Wonderland BreakfastOctober 16, 2021
Twenty-five minutes after seven A.M., Monday, the third of October. The sky had broken, clear and deep, carved out with a sharp knife. Not a bad day for taking leave of this life. (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Ch.37）
3 October 2021 was not a Monday as described in the novel, but it was the first Sunday after the end of the previous month that Tokyo had a lift of a state of emergency, which had been in force since 12 July.
BUNDAN (means Literary Scene) is a lovely café in The Museum of Modern Japanese Literature. Its menu is based on literary works and each dish has its own meaning.
The dishes based on Murakami works are the last breakfast of the protagonist in the “Hard-boiled Wonderland” section of Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and the cheesecake mentioned in the 1983 short story “My Poverty Shaped Like a Cheesecake” (not yet translated into English).
I put some water on to boil, took tomatoes from the refrigerator and blanched them to remove the skin. I chopped up a few vegetables and garlic, added the tomatoes, then stirred in some sausage to simmer. While that cooked down, I slivered some cabbage and peppers for a salad, dripped coffee. I sprinkled water onto a length of French bread, wrapped it in foil, and slid it into the toaster-oven. Once the meal was ready, I cleared away the empty bottles and glasses from the living room and woke her up. “Mmm. Something smells good,” she said. (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World、Ch.37）
The protagonist and his wife live in a house on a triangular-shaped land between two railway tracks. The protagonist describes the shape as a cheesecake divided into twelve equal parts in “My Poverty Shaped Like a Cheesecake”.
When there was a strike, we were very happy. Not a single train ran on the tracks all day. Me and her, with the cat in our arms, would go down to the tracks and bask. It was as quiet as if we were sitting at the bottom of a lake. We were young, we had just got married, and the sunshine was free. To this day, whenever I hear the word ” poverty “, I think of that triangular strip of land. (My Poverty Shaped Like a Cheesecake)
The coffee served there is blended to correspond to the authors, and currently includes those of Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Shuji Terayama, Ogai Mori and Atsushi Nakajima. Those are all great.