murakami’s singapore reference

Kyodo News:

As an example, Murakami mentioned an article contributed by former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew to a Japanese newspaper in which he related the cruelty of Japanese troops who occupied Singapore during the war. But once the war was over and they became British prisoners of war, they became conscientious and worked very hard to clean up Singapore’s streets, Lee wrote.

Murakami said, ‘‘I think this episode shows how terrible the Japanese are. The Japanese who are conscientious and work hard to clean up streets harbor the possibility of one day suddenly becoming human beings who do cruel acts. The people of other countries may have such a tendency but the Japanese in particular have such a strong tendency.’’

april 2007

last week, i had a brief email exchange with a japanese colleague on the merits of Haruki Murakami.

yesterday, i emailed her a presentation which i mistakenly dated “April 2007.”

you got the date wrong, she said.

i replied:

as you know, all true Murakami fans live in the past.

a diary

The Independent:

Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, his best-selling novel to date, has sold four million in Japan alone. In August, Harvill Secker will publish his latest book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, about the influence of sport on his life and work.

An added treat for Murakami aficionados is a diary, adorned by fragments from his novels.

do you know this writer

Gore Verbinski, the director of “Pirates of the Carribean”, on how video games are influenced by other media:

Do you know this writer [Haruki] Murakami? There’s a kind of dream logic in his writing that is very much suitable to games. Why does the red scarf keep appearing on the chair? You’re sort of haunted by this imagery. Is someone messing with me? Is this happening in a conventional narrative? Or are things in multiple worlds actually colliding together?

What I will say when I talk about running

The Daily Yomiuri:

In the eighth spot (on November’s bestseller list in Japan) is Hashirukotoni Tsuite Katarutoki ni Bokuno Katarukoto (What I will say when I talk about running), a memoir about long-distance running by popular novelist Haruki Murakami.

arabic translation

The Emirates:

Only about 330 books are translated into Arabic each year. To put the problem into perspective, Spain translates in one year the number of books that have been translated into Arabic in the last 1,000 year.

there is now a major initiative called Kalima to translate books into Arabic. among the first 6 books already translated for Kalima is Kafka on the Shore.