Immediate Reactions to Murakami's New Novel - How to Japanese - April 2023
This is How to Japanese, a monthly newsletter with something about Japan/Japanese and a dash of いろいろ.
日本・日本語： Immediate Reactions to Murakami’s New Novel
Good God, that’s Murakami Haruki’s music!
Murakami’s new novel 街とその不確かな壁 (The City and Its Uncertain Walls) is out, and I’ve read the first two chapters! Check out my quick reaction over at the podcast, which is divided into three sections: spoiler free, loose suggestions about the content, and spoiler-palooza.
So far, I’m really enjoying the book. It feels like Murakami has taken his 1980 novella and injected it into one of his early short stories like "Firefly."
I’ve been busy over at the podcast, so I’ll keep the newsletter short this month. Check out all my other Murakami podcasts here:
Episode 1 - Emergency Podcast! My immediate reaction to the announcement of the title of the new novel, which I also summarized for the newsletter.
Episode 2 - The true introduction to the podcast, with an outline of the season and my goals for the project.
BONUS EPISODE 2.5 - I was on the Japan Times Deep Dive Podcast to talk about the new novel.
Episode 4 - Murakami Power Rankings. I ranked all of Murakami’s novels from least to most successful.
Episode 5 - Murakami Bibliography 1979 - 1987
Episode 6 - Murakami Bibliography 1988 - 2005
Episode 7 - Murakami Bibliography 2006 - 2023
For these three episodes, I looked at every book that Murakami has published during his 44 year writing career. See a written version of this with the Google Sheet I created bit.ly/MurakamiBibliography.
Episode 8 - Predictions - I discussed some of the vocabulary Murakami uses frequently and made a few predictions for the novel.
This month I asked for mnemonics to help remember which direction the tenten in 冬 go, and Twitter gave me this incredible response: “Winter is downright cold!” Down! Right! Unbelievable!
One-pot Salmon Chowder from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt was one of the easiest and tastiest recipes I made over the past month. I also recommend pairing it with a grilled cheese sandwich.
Morgan Housel’s new podcast is great, and this episode “Rules of the Money Game” is one I plan to return to frequently. It’s about way more than money.
RIP Oe Kenzaburo. The Mainichi had an editorial about him.
Translator Lisa Hofmann-Kuroda published a translation of a conversation between Tsushima and Annie Ernaux over at Lit Hub. I happened to read Territory of Light this month, so it was really interesting to follow it up with this conversation.
Translator Zack Kaplan started a new blog - Japanese Art Translation Journal.