Thursday, January 24, 2013

Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge 2013

This is the first reading challenge that I have joined, and as I usually read a few Murakami books every year, it seemed a natural choice.

I first became interested in Murakami through the film director Wong Kar-Wai.  I mentioned him in my guest post on January in Japan as introducing me to Osamu Dazai.  I have to credit him once again for bringing another giant of Japanese literature to may attention.  Many years ago, in the course of my so-called research about Wong Kar-Wai, I came across the information that Murakami's short story "On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning" was an influence for his film Chungking Express.  You can read more about the connection here and here

So for this reading challenge, I plan to read:

Hear The Wind Sing
Pinball, 1973
A Wild Sheep Chase
Dance, Dance, Dance
The Elephant Vanishes

While I guess 5 books puts me at the Toru level of participation, I will graciously decline that level and remain at the Sheep Man level, which I believe is more fitting.

Speaking of the Sheep Man, thanks to Tony of Tony's Reading List, I ran across the story "The Sheep Man's Christmas" on a post at brilliantyears, with a link to a translation here.  Will have to add that one to the challenge too.


  1. Didn't know the connection between Wong Kar Wai and Murakami. I love Wong Kar Wai's films, especially In the Mood for Love, although I haven't seen them for a while - must do so again. I'm planning to read 1Q84 for the Murakami Challenge. Hopefully I'll finish it this year!

    1. I also enjoy In the Mood for Love, as well as its soundtrack. I remember seeing Chungking Express in the theater and was blown away. Back to Murakami, I decided to go with his early works this year and I'm sure I'll see you at the Murakami Challenge. By the way, had you read "The Sheep Man's Christmas" before? I decided to add it to my list.

  2. Some great choices there - have fun :)