Tag Archives: Haruki Murakami

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

“I’m the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I’m he type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone.”

“In certain areas of my life, I actively seek out solitude.”

“I look up at the sky, wondering if I’ll catch a glimpse of kindness there, but I don’t. All I see are indifferent summer clouds drifting over the Pacific. And they have nothing to say to me.”

This book is probably the closest anyone can get into the mind of Murakami. For a few brief pages, we are treated with prose about how he views the world, how he sees himself, his inner struggles, aspirations and views on writing. I was personally very surprised to find out just how big a part running played (and plays) in his life. He is indeed the “running novelist”!

Whenever I came across a line or quote (some of which are reflected above) which I could totally identify with, I felt my heart give a little jerk of pleasure, then settle down in comfortable contentment, happy to know, that, in some corner of the world, there is a voice for people like us. And that voice – is Murakami.

May he live long.

Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche

First time reading a non-fiction book by Murakami.

In his usual masterly way, he paints a detailed picture of the 1995 Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. He interviewed not only victims, but also delved into conversations and discussions with the cult members – people who may not have carried out the attack themselves, but were part of the group at some point.

The media is nothing but one voice representing a large diversity of voices. News articles and reports may tell us how many people died, what time the specific trains departed, and how many commuters were affected in those few hours, but nothing, or very little, is said of emotions, thoughts, impressions, and the moving on. The commuters who were caught up in the attack are portrayed as “innocent” while all those associated with the cult were immediately labelled as “bad”, but no one gave thought to believers who may have joined for sincere causes, only to feel alienated from their beliefs.

Through Murakami’s study, stereotypes are blurred,  hidden voices are given an outlet, and the subtle layers of Japanese society are exposed to the reader’s mind.

After the Quake


Have never been a fan of Murakami’s short stories, but this little book captured my attention from the start. Perhaps it was because all the short stories are linked by the common denominator of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake.


Funny, tragic, out-of-this-world – are just some of the words I’d use to describe this short but memorable journey with Murakami. Especially liked “Super Frog” and “Honey Pie”.


And, wonders of wonders, I finished this book feeling like I really want to read 1Q84 again… and I think I will.


‘A Wild Sheep Chase’ and ‘Dance Dance Dance’

“The “world” – the word always makes me think of a tortoise and elephants tirelessly supporting a gigantic disc. The elephants have no knowledge of the tortoise’s role, the tortoise is unable to see what the elephants are doing. And neither is least aware of the world on their backs.”

“No promises you’re gonna be happy, the Sheep Man had said. So you gotta dance. Dance so it all keeps spinning.”

Maybe we all have a Sheep Man within us. In the other world, in the other part of us, kept hidden, sometimes even from ourselves.

We’re just too caught up in the world of advanced capitalism to see It.