Tagged books

Murakami’s Tokyo: Part 1 — Beginnings

Even at a time like this, the street is bright enough and filled with people coming and going—people with places to go and people with no place to go; people with a purpose and people with no purpose; people trying to hold time back and people trying to urge it forward.

After Dark

Haruki Murakami is often described as one of the world’s greatest living novelists and has been compared with the likes of J.D. Salinger (he even translated The Catcher in the Rye into Japanese). His depictions of the loneliness and isolation of modern Japanese life ingratiated him with the country’s youth who often struggle to assert their individuality in the face of societal notions of conformity. Read more

Haruki Murakami and the Japanese Mind

Walking home the other evening, a man passed me on a bicycle with a cat riding in the front basket. While this wasn’t terribly unusual, what took me aback was that both he and his cat were wearing matching stripy jumpers and top hats (think Dr. Seuss). Even stranger was the fact that nobody else bat an eyelid. Read more

Book Off

Secondhand books are big business in Japan and nationwide you’ll find the somewhat aggressively named Book Off (ブックオフコーポレーション) chain of used bookstores as well as innumerable tiny mom and pop shops packed to the rafters with eclectic assortments of reading material.

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Getting Lost in Haruki Murakami’s ‘Town of Cats’

Book reviews are not usually my thing, but having recently finished Haruki Murakami’s epic three-volume novel, 1Q84, events conspired which were a little too coincidental to pass over. For those unfamiliar with Murakami’s work, he is one of Japan’s most famous authors whose work is humorous and surreal, often focusing on themes of alienation and loneliness. Many of his novels focus on the mundane lives of ordinary people who are suddenly catapulted into deranged circumstances. Read more