Haiku reflections on Japan

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage

`Colorless` young man

seeks answers to a burning

question from his youth

 

Well, I have seen Murakami`s latest book in a few shops in hardback version and thought about buying it as the paperback is not due out for another few months, both in my country and the one I was recently travelling in.   I held off though and I`m glad I did because just by chance I came across it in my library. yes the library came to the rescue again.    Having read it now, I am kind of glad I did not fork out the cash for the hardback nor will I be buying the paperback which will be out soon.

Overall, it was of friendship and how some friendships cannot last forever.  One person, the Tsukuru of the title, gets cast out of a group of close teenage friends without any explanation whatsoever and he spends a lot of his life living under the cloud this brings about.  It affects his relationships with other people, or rather his ability to build them in the first place.   He constantly feels rejected.  He does manage to make a new friend who he sees a lot of. The reason he gets cast out is awful but I won`t say what it is nor what becomes of his new friendship, in case someone reading this has not read the novel.

Anyway, though I found the book a bit refreshing at first for Murakami, the characters were not too much of a jump from characters in his previous novels, especially Tsukuru, who definitely had shades of Watanabe from NW and Tengo from IQ84.    The classical music fan, the sarky cutter whisky (or whatever it is called), the loner who listens to and drinks each these things.  It brings up the issue yet again about being lonely versus being alone which the character is quite happy being or so he says for most of the book.  The end of the book is a bit weak, tailing out to nothing.  I was thinking `oh that`s it`.

Out of interest, one of the characters in the book says something very wierd at one stage comparing his skills to  that of a nazi.    In an interview with fans a few months ago, Murakami seemed pleased to share his birthday or something like that with a `great` nazi.   I was left thinking 一体!! (What the hell!!)   I know he is not a fascist but (and so) he should really keep such opinions to himself.  That interview was kind of lame anyway and maybe he knew it and decided to throw in that strange comment though he does not seem to court controversy.

Well, that book apparently flew off the shelves when it first came out in Japan so Murakami`s  legend is safe there for a long time yet.    Another legend in Japan is Ken Takakura, unfortunately no longer a living legend as he sadly passed away last November, an event I somehow missed (actually I was away travelling so was not paying much attention to my blog).  RIP Ken.  His last film was Anate He (Darling) in 2012.   He was already in his early 80s when he did that film.   Lovely film.   It has somewhat of an all-star cast.   Check it out.

Anyone else read Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage?   What did you think of it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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