I like how this shop in Shimokitazawa looks like from the outside.
This is the main entrance.
There is a Spiderman welcoming the customers.
Other entries about Shimokitazawa:
Naoki Urasawa, the author of Pluto and Monster latest manga hit is 20th Century Boys. I liked a lot 20th Century Boys, it is very similar to Monster in structure but even longer. 20th Century Boys is so popular in Japan that they are making a trilogy of movies. The advertising campaign for the first movie started some weeks a go and it is pretty impressive, there are “signs” everywhere!
If you are a 20th Century Boys you will notice something “wrong” in this picture.
Picture fromTommy Oshima, one of my favorite Japanese photographers.
“A Wild Sheep Chase” is the last novel from Haruki Murakami I’ve read. It is also the last one I had to read to finish reading all his novels in English, the next challenge is to read all of them one more time but in Japanese. Some of the conversations in this novel reminded me The Castle (Franz Kafka), that happens to be one Haruki Murakami’s favorite novels and he confeses he is greatly influenced by Kafka.
“A Wild Sheep Chase” is about sheep. 300 pages about sheep? Yes it is about sheep, but not really about sheep. And yes! it is interesting to read, is even more than that, I think it is magic to read. It is amazing how a storyline that looks normal at the beginning starts to warp, and change and become surrealistic but still feeling “normal”. This mastery changing from normal to surrealistic without feeling anything artificial is a typical Murakami pattern found in many of his novels. It is also typical that the protagonist has no name, in fact in this novel none of the characters has a name, they all have weird nicknames. This no-name thing is not only typical in Murakami’s novels, it is pretty common in Japanese literature, manga and anime, do you have any idea why?
Here I quote some interesting bits and pieces from “A Wild Sheep Chase“:
“This way by no means a criticism of you. Or to put it more simply, it is because the world itself is so mediocre that you are mediocre as such. Do you not agree?”
“Nice kitty-kitty,” said the chauffeur, hand not outstretched. “What’s his name?”
“He doesn’t have a name.”
“So what do you call the fella?”
“I don’t call it, ” I said. “It’s just there”
“But he’s not a lump just sitting there. He moves about by his own will, no? Seems mighty strange that something that moves by its own will doesn’t’ have a name.”
“Herring swim around of theri own will, but nobody gives them names.”
“Well, first of all, there’s no emotional bond between herring and people, and besides, they wouldn’t know their name if they heard it.”
“Don’t mind in the least. But what name?”
“How about ‘Kipper’? I mean you were treating him him like a herring after all.”
“Not bad,” I said.
“You see?” said the chauffeur.
“What do you think?” I asked my girlfriend.
“Not bad,” she said. “It’s like being witness to the creation of heaven and earth.”
“Let there be Kipper”. I said.
“Remember the name of your cat?”
“Kipper,” I reply.
“No, it’s not Kipper,” the chauffeur says. “The name’s already changed. Names change all the time. I bet you can’t even remember your own name”
Sheep picture taken by my friend Albert who is living now in Scotland.
I’ve been for a while in Spain, and I was lazy to update my English blog, I’m sorry! These are some of the pictures I took during my stay in Spain.
The University where I graduated some years ago invited me to talk in a conference.
Signing books. Yes, I wrote a book about Japan! (Sorry, it’s only in Spanish). First edition is already finished!
My book next to Dragon Ball!
These are some pictures from my town, where I lived all my childhood.
Paella with my friends Albert and Alberto.
Classical music concert.
Yes, my camera was wet after this picture. I took at 10mm.
Playing Settlers of Catan.
Trabajando un rato.
All these veggies are from my parents field.
Tourism is the fuel of Spanish economy.
My father learning how to take pictures with a new camera I brought them from Japan.
An advertisement about my book next to the sea.