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Posts tagged haruki murakami

Waseda revisited

waseda university 早稲田大学

早稲田大学 (April 2010)

Revisited in photos only, unfortunately. I haven’t set foot on the grounds for almost 10 years, and today’s photo comes from over 12 years ago when I was working at Waseda University. Those were some good times.

Should I ever make it there again, what I’d really like to see is the new Haruki Murakami Library. I checked out (and of course read) many Murakami books in the old library.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe near Incline Village on the Nevada side

“That amazing time in our lives is gone, and will never return. All the beautiful possibilities we had then have been swallowed up in the flow of time.” — Haruki Murakami in Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki on page 341

Thirsty Dragon

thirsty dragon buddhist temple water purification koenji tokyo suginami ku

I have been reading Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 for the past week. The setting for some of the book is Koenji, just west of central Tokyo in Suginami-Ku. I lived in Suginami-Ku in 1989, almost the same time period as Murakami’s book. Today’s photo is from 2010 though (when 1Q84 was first published in Japanese). I took this pic at Myohoji (妙法寺), which is a bit south of Koenji but still walking distance.

Japanese cat

cat japan

If one had to sum up Japan in three words, all three could come from this photo: beauty (the roof tiles), cement, and pets.

By request, this could be a scene out of Kafka on the Shore as well.

Tokyo tram

“Three old women were the only passengers on the Sunday morning tram [from the end of the line at Waseda]. They all looked at me and my flowers. One of them gave me a smile. I smiled back. I sat in the last seat and watched the ancient houses passing close to the window. The tram almost touched the overhanging eaves. The laundry deck of one house had ten potted tomato plants, next to which a big black cat lay stretched out in the sun. In the garden of another house, a little girl was blowing soap bubbles. I heard an Ayumi Ishida song coming from somewhere, and could even catch the smell of curry cooking. The tram snaked its way through this private back-alley world. A few more passengers got on at stops along the way, but the three old women went on talking intently about something, huddled together face-to-face.

I got off near Otsuka Station… None of the shops along the way seemed to be doing very well, housed as they were in old buildings with gloomy-looking interiors and faded writing on some of the signs. Judging from the age and style of the buildings, this area had been spared the wartime air raids, leaving whole blocks intact. A few of the places had been entirely rebuilt, but just about all had been enlarged or repaired in places, and it was these additions that tended to look shabbier than the old buildings themselves.” Norwegian Wood p. 84

Waseda University cafeteria view

“I went to the [Waseda University] cafeteria afterwards and ate a cold, tasteless lunch alone. Then I sat in the sun and observed the campus scene.” Norwegian Wood p. 103