Hi, friends!

The exciting festival of football was over for Japan. They played very well, much more than our expectation. Thank you very much for your support. Your voice must have been reached to South Africa, since Cairo is much nearer to South Africa than from Japan!!

Right now, I am in another kind of festive mode, by reading book 3 of Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84.”

I hope you know about Haruki Murakami, one of the most popular writer from Japan.

And I also hope that you have read some of his stories or essays either in original Japanese or translation.

“1Q84” is his latest novel, which made a record in sales, that is 3.77 million copies for all 3 books.

Translation has already been published in some foreign countries.

I read book 1 & 2 while I took a holiday in Japan in last September. And now, my boss came back from his holiday in Japan with the book 3, I have been spending sleepless, joyful nights recently.

What you may know about Murakami is, I guess, his courageous speech at the award ceremony of Jerusalem Award in Israel. Although there were a lot of voices asking or recommending him not to receive the award, specially because it was the time when Israel was severely attacking Gaza and his action may be taken as he tolerated it, he made the decision himself to go there, and made this famous speech of ‘wall and egg.’ He confessed that he would always be at the side of the egg.

The full text of his speech in English can be read at;

http://www.47news.jp/47topics/e/93880.php

His earlier works in late 70’s and 80’s reflected the sense of cooling down of the political movement by the citizens, which reached its peak in 1968. People are disappointed with the fact that they could not change anything, and rather started concentrating more on economic activities which made Japan as 2nd economic power in the world. Murakami’s stance was called the literature of ‘detachment.’

However, after 1995, when a big earthquake hit the nation and a cult religious group AUM Shinrikyo committed disastrous spray of poison in Metros in Tokyo, he is said to have shifted his stance into ‘attachment,’ and stand against the big evil power, either natural or personal. He wrote “Underground,” the reportage of the victim of AUM Shinrikyo’s cultic crimes, and “After the Quake,” short stories hinted by the disaster caused by uncontrollable power such as earthquakes.

And in his latest novel, “1Q84,” he once again is trying to tackle with the religious cult in the form of best-written entertainment love story. I must confess that it is so much fun to read it and at the same time it is stimulating my subterranean consciousness to urge me to think deeply about self, communication, relations with the societies, and so on.

I have to ask you to wait for some time for the introduction of “1Q84” at our library. However, we have a serious of his good novels either in Japanese, English, and also Arabic. I strongly recommend that you should read Murakami to enrich your literary imagination and creativity. And I am sure that you may find strong relevance between his literary world and the world which surrounds you.

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