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Haruki Murakami: “Super-Frog Saves Tokyo”

May 23 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

“Throughout Murakami’s oeuvre… characters never cease to express their bafflement about the nature of time, or change, or consciousness, or moral choice, or the simple fact of finding themselves alive, in this world or another. In this sense, Murakami’s heroes and heroines are all philosophers. It is natural, then, that his work should enchant younger readers, to whom the problems of being are still fresh, as well as others who never grew out of such puzzlements – that his books should seem an outstretched hand of sympathy to anyone who feels that they too have been tossed, without their permission, into a labyrinth…” (The Guardian)


This meetup is hosted by Derwin over at the Toronto Philosophy Meetup. which is rebooting its series on short stories: https://www.meetup.com/The-Toronto-Philosophy-Meetup

The selection this week is “Super-Frog Saves Tokyo” by the renowned Japanese writer Haruki Murakami.

The story, from the 2002 collection After The Quake, is about a “mild-mannered collection agent visited by a giant talking frog who enlists his help in saving Tokyo from destruction.” (!?)

You can view and download a translation of the story here: https://app.box.com/s/g3t8z4itzm31pe2mfy5cth0q7vd9kqk3

Or purchase the short story collection here: https://www.amazon.ca/After-Quake-Stories-Haruki-Murakami/dp/0375713271/

Please read the story before our discussion (about 30 pages).

The Zoom link will be posted shortly before the meetup.


Some background info on Haruki Murakami:


“Haruki Murakami (born January 12, 1949) is a Japanese writer. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies outside his native country. His work has received numerous awards, including the World Fantasy Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, and the Jerusalem Prize. Murakami’s most notable works include the novels A Wild Sheep Chase (1982), Norwegian Wood (1987), The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994–95), Kafka on the Shore (2002), and 1Q84 (2009–10). He has also translated into Japanese works by writers including Raymond Carver and J. D. Salinger. His work is frequently surrealistic and melancholic or fatalistic, marked by a Kafkaesque rendition of the “recurrent themes of alienation and loneliness” he weaves into his narratives. Steven Poole of The Guardian praised Murakami as “among the world’s greatest living novelists” for his works and achievements.”