Murakami vs. Ishihara?


Murakami hits out at Japanese nationalism

Richard Lea and agencies
Monday July 3, 2006

Guardian Unlimited
Haruki Murakami has spoken about his fears for his country amid a rise in Japanese nationalism, and revealed plans to deal with the issue in his next novel.

"I'm worried about my country," the author told the South China Morning Post, an English-language newspaper based in Hong-Kong. "I feel I have a responsibility as a novelist to do something."

He singled out Shintaro Ishihara, the right-wing governor of Tokyo, for particular criticism, calling him "a very dangerous man".

In 2003, the governor's administration issued a directive that teachers at public high schools should raise and lower the national flag at school ceremonies, and stand during the national anthem - as a result of which more than 300 teachers have been reprimanded, suspended or made to attend "re-education seminars". Mr Ishihara has also worshipped at the controversial Yasukuni shrine. The Shinto shrine honours Japan's 2.5m war dead, including convicted war criminals, and is viewed by many of Japan's wartime victims as an unwanted reminder of Tokyo's militarism of the 1930s and 40s.

"He's an agitator," Murakami reportedly said. "He hates China."

This is not the first time Murakami has spoken in public about Japanese nationalism. In a 1997 interview with he talked about the perils of nationalism and revisionism, saying that elements in Japanese society were "remaking history", denying the Nanking massacre and the mistreatment of Chinese and Korean women during the second world war. "We don't have to be tied by the past, but we have to remember it," he said.

Murakami's fiction is enormously popular in China, where he has sold over 3m copies of his work in translation since the success of Norwegian Wood, first published in 1989.

His latest novel, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is published in the UK by Harvill Secker later this month.,,329520089-99819,00.html

これを日本語訳したのが。記事の元ネタであるSouth China Morning Postなのだが、訳者の方は香港ならぬ豪州の新聞Sydney Morning HeraldのインタヴューのURLを指示してしまっている*1。この別の記事を前提として、の記事に突っ込みを入れているわけだ。Guardianの記事の元ネタは、以下のAPの記事;

Haruki Murakami says he's worried about Japanese nationalism

HONG KONG -- Famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami says he's worried about nationalism in his home country and plans to incorporate an anti-nationalist theme into his next novel, a Hong Kong newspaper reported Sunday.

"I'm worried about my country," the 57-year-old Murakami was quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post. "I feel I have responsibility as a novelist to do something."

Murakami singled out nationalist Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara for criticism.

"Ishihara is a very dangerous man. He's an agitator. He hates China," Murakami reportedly said.

Ishihara has worshipped at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's 2.5 million war dead, including convicted war criminals. The shrine is a major source of Sino-Japanese tensions.

The governor's administration in 2003 also threatened punishment for schoolteachers who don't teach the importance of the Japanese flag and the national anthem -- symbols some say are a reminder of the country's militarist past.

Murakami is known for this Western-influenced writing. Among his works are "Norwegian Wood," "South of the Border, West of the Sun," and "Kafka on the Shore."

Many of Japan's Asian neighbors remain bitter about Japanese military aggression during the 20th century, saying Tokyo has never shown adequate contrition for its brutality. (AP)

July 2, 2006

肝心のSouth China Morning Postの記事なのだけれど、過去の記事は有料なので、取り敢えずアクセス断念。
ところで、Sydney Morning Heraldの記事は面白かった。

HARUKI MURAKAMI would seem the very picture of the writer-prophet. He speaks in low, urgent tones about Japan's rightward lurch. "I am worrying about my country," says the 57-year-old writer, widely considered to be Japan's Nobel laureate-in-waiting. "I feel I have a responsibility as a novelist to do something."

As a teenager, Murakami kicked against the reading tastes of his parents - both lecturers in Japanese literature - by consuming pulpy American mystery novels in English. His idols remain American writers: Fitzgerald, Carver, Chandler and Vonnegut. The heroes of his surrealistic, genre-bending novels are more likely to eat spaghetti, listen to Radiohead and read Len Deighton than drink sake or quote Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburo Oe. They are under-employed drifters, without children or long-term partners, who refuse to genuflect to the Japanese ethos of family and corporation.

Murakami works on short stories in the intervals between novels. "You can test your new technique in a short story for your next novel. It's an experiment - a game."

He writes the way a jazz musician extemporises - guided by impulse, without a plan. "I didn't have a teacher or a colleague as a writer, so the only way I knew was good music - rhythm, improvisation, harmony. I just know how to begin. If I knew how to finish, it wouldn't be fun because I'd know what would happen next. Writing is like dreaming when you're awake."

Childless, like his characters, Murakami is free to pursue his daily regime of writing, translating and fitness. His evenings are spent listening to jazz and translating American novels into Japanese. Murakami has introduced the Japanese reading public to more than 40 works by the likes of Truman Capote, John Irving, Tim O'Brien and Grace Paley.

"Writing fiction, you get egotistical. You have to have confidence," he says. "But translating, you have to respect the text, so your ego shrinks to normal size. It's good for your mental health."