Tanizaki and Murakami

January 14, 2021 By mk

Jun’ichirō Tanizaki (1886-1965) is one of the most appreciated novelists of Japanese literature. The award named after Tanizaki is one of the most prestigious ones and was given to Murakami for Hard–Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World in 1985. Murakami highly respects Tanizaki. He met Mrs Matsuko Tanizaki (1903-1990), the maestro’s wife, at […]

Notes on Underground and the 1990 election

January 9, 2021 By mk

I trace it back to February 1990, when Aum stood for election in the Lower House of the Japanese Diet. Asahara was running in Shibuya Ward, the Tokyo district where I was living at the time, and the campaign was a singularly odd piece of theater. Day after day strange music played from big trucks […]

Murakami in 2020

December 31, 2020 By mk

In 2020, Murakami published five books in Japan; two essays, one short stories collection and two translations. Considering his age of 71, he is impressively productive. He also saved the readers and the book industries at the time of pandemic by the way that only he could do in 2020; he published the five books […]

A Wild Sheep Chase Places

December 25, 2020 By mk

[SPOILER ALERT] This article includes information about Haruki Murakami’s “A Wild Sheep Chase”. I hope it helps you to extend your imagination to the scenes that appeared in the novel. A Wild Sheep Chase is set at three areas Tokyo: “I” lived, dated, married and divorced, and “Boss” lived Hokkaido: The Dolphine Hotel and the […]

Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life

December 10, 2020 By mk

Death was not the opposite of life. It was already here, within my being, it had always been here, and no struggle would permit me to forget that. (Norwegian Wood, Ch.2) A year ago, when Waseda University announced that it was setting up a new library to house Haruki Murakami’s archives, and that Murakami would […]

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

December 1, 2020 By mk

Read Carson McCullers’ “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (published in 1940)” translated by Haruki Murakami this year and impressed not only the way Murakami translated but the findings on the interaction among the literary works and the reality beyond the place, language and time. The problems and sufferings that the characters faced in the […]

Mont Blanc at Café Murakami

December 1, 2020 By mk

Dropped in Café Murakami, run by a traditional patisserie owned by Murakami family (no liaison to Haruki) in Kanazawa since 1911. Its seasonal speciality was Mont Blanc cake; Sumire’s favourite in Sputnik Sweetheart. Although it was mentioned as a “usual slice of cake” in the English translation, it was specified as “Mont Blanc,” a cake […]

1Q84 on the Express Way

October 31, 2020 By mk

The story starts at Expressway Number 3 in Setagaya ward, southwest part of Tokyo. In 1984, the elevated expressway has often congested; but these days, as the expressway system expands, the traffic jam is getting less. The Metropolitan Expressway No.3 was built as a part of the preparation for the Tokyo 1964 Olympic games. It […]

After Dark Places

October 17, 2020 By mk

Although Murakami did not mention the name of the place, it is believed that the setting of After Dark (2004) is Shibuya, one of the most popular amusement districts in the heart of Tokyo. Our line of sight chooses an area of concentrated brightness and, focusing there, silently descends to it—a sea of neon colors. […]

Murakami gave an interview on Jazz

October 9, 2020 By mk

On the Bungakukai Magazine (Nov. 2020), Murakami gave an interview on Stan Getz and Jazz. As always, he was very talkative and shared his knowledge with a twist of expression in the way that he did in his novels. He thought “this is what I have to do” and translated ”Stan Getz: A Life in […]