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Date 2021-04-27


China in Murakami Haruki: Mainly on his three novels of Sydney’s Green Street, Slow Boat to China and Hear The Wind Sing


Fujii Shozo

Yeh Hui (Translator)

Professor, Faculty of Letters, The University of Tokyo


Murakami Haruki was deeply influenced by China. His first work Hear the Wind Sing (1979) begins as follows: "The perfect writing is not in existence as well as faultless desperation." From this citation, we can see that he might be inspired by "Desperation is as well as hope for nihility" written by Lu Hsun. Murakami Haruki was fond of Lu’s True Story of Ah Q in his high school days and had been attracted by him since then. Afterward, he even wrote the short story the Fall of the Kingdom in which the protagonist named "Q" is an elitist white-collar class. In A Guidance of the Short Stories for Young Readership, which can be regarded as an orthodox literary criticism, Murakami intermittently demonstrates his comments on "Ah Q". In addition, as a son of participant being involved in the aggressive war to China, grown up in harbor city Kobe where the China town is located, since his first short story Slow Boat to China, Murakami Haruki’s works, such as A Wild Sheep Chase, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, After Dark and so on, constantly focus on the historical memory of China. I think that Murakami literature cannot avoid the issue of China. This paper will examine the issue of China in Murakami literature with Murakami Haruki 's early works.

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Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature