Ryu Murakami

As I’ve finished reading all the books written by Haruki Murakami, I’ve started reading books written by Ryu Murakami. Their names are similar but both authors are very different. Ryu Murakami is also very popular in Japan but he is not very known outside of Japan, he has written more than 20 books and is also a movie director, producer and screenwriter. Maybe one of his most known films outside of Japan is Audition.

I have specially enjoyed 69, “In Coin Locker Babies” and “Exodus in the Hopeful Country”. “69” is a light novel but it really makes you get into the life of high school students in a small city in Kyushu during the year 1969. “In Coin Locker Babies” is the masterpiece of Ryu Murakami, it tells the story of two kids that are abandoned inside the lockers in a Tokyo subway station in the 70s. It is a book that has influenced many other authors, like for example, the creators of the video game franchise Silent Hill, who have said they have been inspired by some aspects of “In Coin Locker Babies”. A movie based on the book will be released next year.

“Exodus in the Hopeful Country” is a novel about the change and revolution that began in Japan caused by the hacker community in Tokyo. The funny thing is that one of the characters in the book is Joi Ito, a living person and one of my bosses. It is not a coincidence, Joi Ito and Ryu Murakami are friends. If you still haven’t read any book by Ryu Murakami I recommend you 69 or “In Coin Locker Babies”.

Ryu Murakami

Ryu Murakami
Ryu Murakami on the left reviewing some designs for one of his books at my company’s office.

Pictures taken by Joi Ito.

7 replies on “Ryu Murakami”

I enjoyed reading Murakami Ryu’s books when I was still in France (especially 69). Audition is also a great movie, I had no idea it was his movie! (shame on me). And no idea he was friend of Joi Ito …
(Do you know that Joi Ito is also a cousin of Keigo Oyamada, a.k.a Cornelius)

I’m n ot quite sure that r. Murakami made audition. Wasn’t Audition from Takeshi Miike?

Maybe you were refering to Tokyo Decadence the adaptation of Murakami’s own noval “Topazu”?

Wow, I had no idea that Audition was originally a Murakami book. With Miike and Murakami together, no wonder that movie is so screwed up/scary. =P

I actually found Ryu when I was browsing Haruki’s books. I heartily recommend “In the Miso Soup”, it’s really shocking and graphic. I’ve always wanted to read Coin Locker Babies.

Reading CLB’s I admit to being partial to R. Murakami’s so-called “decadent” subject matter (as if that were a bad thing), exalted by the sheer innocent nihilism of such fine characters as Kiku and Hashi, and strung-along by the silken thread of gallows humor that suddenly leaps off the page and snaps like a leather whip leaving one with an ear-to-ear devil’s perma-grin. Yet underneath all these acrobatics of genius is that raw heartbeat, that universal bond of mother and child and the unforgiving pain of abandonment. If there’s a more sincere indictment on our precarious condition, my bet is Ryu Murakami wrote it!

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