Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fukuda Mayuko (福田麻由子) "Murakami Haruki wo Shiritai"

Text taken from mayukofukuda.seesaa.net.


Haruki Novels On My Mind

Fukuda Mayuko (actress)

The first novel I read from Murakami Haruki-san is "Kafka on the Shore". Back then, I was 14 years old. The main character, Kafka-kun, is 15. Since our age are so close, I want to try reading it. At the time, my world is extremely narrow -- you can say the meaning is physically as well. Beside from coming to the center of the city occasionally for my work, my whole world is walking to school everyday for 20 minutes on an empty street. I read the book at that time, and it may be an exaggeration, but I really felt "the world become bigger". The moment I read "When you wake up, you become a part of a new world." in the last part, I thought "Wow~!". Even just a little bit, I remember the way I see the world really did changed. At that time, I really didn't want to become an adult, and at the same time, I was frustrated that unless I am an adult, I can't do anything. I existed hazily at a sensitive period. But after reading "Kafka on the Shore", I realized that "Ah, unless I move, nothing will happen." In that narrow world, I was under the impression that I don't have a destination, but in actuality, my destinations can be anywhere-- Whether Kafka-kun went somewhere far away or even if he didn't move at all from his place, by changing the way we view the world, and take a step forward, we will be able to see a new world. That really encouraged me.

Since then, I keep rereading "Kafka on The Shore" many times. No matter when I read it, there are always new discoveries and emotions. That's why this book is wonderful. Recently, while rereading it again, the sentence "I wondered where violence come from?" made me think.

In this world, you can never escape the violence and power. During this time, "since it's unavoidable" should we just give up? Or can we do something about it? -- there may be no answer to it. But I want to believe "there is" (an answer). I want Kafka-kun and Nakata-san to believe as well. No matter how many times I read it, the exchange with Johnny Walker always make me tear up. The figure of Nakata-san fighting the violence -- though he was weak, I still think it has a significant meaning. Though it's frustrating whenever I read it, but for that frustration, our normal life must never experience that starvation (?). As our lives continue, we sometimes forget about that frustration, and I think it's bad if it's drained away. I want to believe that we can always stand up and fight against the "power". That's how I thought about it.


Though it's not really a novel, but I have an emotional attachment with "Underground". Since I was borne in 1994, I only know the general layout of the "Aum Incident". With such circumstances, I read the interviews from various people that was affected by the incident. Though it's the same incident, I was surprised at how everyone's stand points and experiences were so different. Although the "Sarin gas attack on Tokyo subway" is such a huge incident that left a deep impression, in truth, it doesn't stop there. Though they boarded the same train and went through the same chaos, without change, the incident passed and the culprits were also caught. And even though the incident only occurred once, and the "moment" can only happened once, through various people's point of views, it's completely different. When I read it, Murakami Haruki-san showed that it's not "A one time Aum incident", but perhaps he's showing "the Aum incident that happened in different worlds". Not just restricting to the Aum incident, but every incidents that happened in this world, speaking in extreme, the people who are affected are "each and every world", so the way it's shown is naturally different. But, in the center of it all, what in the world happen to the people and the things in that incident? -- Or to simply put, "Who are the ones that are bad?" It really made me think. Even if it's not a direct involvement, we can't separate ourselves from the incidents of the world. After all, for everyone, there's a chance that one can lose to a "greater violence". Everyday, we are face with various different kinds of situation in our world, but there are things where we don't face them seriously, and there are are many others that are forgotten as time passed. Murakami Haruki-san's novels taught me to carefully think about "the me that's 'losing that place'". That's why I really want the people in my generations to read it. I really thought so.



- Really difficult for me.

- Sometimes I read other people's translations and it made me wondered why can't Mayuko say something simple like them. Even when reading blog posts, everyone will write easy to understand stuffs like "I did this and this today" and "This is so cool/pretty/awesome. Don't you think?" and then I got to Mayuko's stuffs and she went all literary nerd on me. Gah. Well, I guess she can't exactly help it since it's me that put myself through this. :/ If she write something so silly and boring like that, I wouldn't find it interesting to translate either... And yea, it wouldn't be so interesting to read such things again and again. Well, not saying everyone else writing sucks, but... Mayuko, why do you have to give me such painful headaches? She need to write 5th grade level sentences, not university level! My Japanese is only first grade level.

- I never read his books before so I'm not sure if that's what she meant. Of course my translation isn't correct, so please do enlighten me.

- I’m reading the wiki for “Underground” and it said:

“The book also includes Murakami's personal essay on the attacks, "Blind Nightmare: Where Are We Japanese Going?" In this essay, he criticizes the failure of the Japanese to learn from the attacks, preferring to dismiss it as the extreme act by a group of lunatics rather than analyze the true causes and prevent similar events from occurring in the future.”

- It kind of reminded me of the recent shootings, and how people are focusing on gun control rather than knowing the real causes of it (like the psychology aspects). Pretty interesting.

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