Reading Murakami Haruki's 1Q84 (Intermediate/Advanced Book)

Finished 封印再度, so I will now be starting Book 1 後編. Sorry for the delay!

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Ah no worries! Meanwhile I found us another fellow reader: @Greti33 :blush:

I don’t know how fast Greti is able to read the first book though… so I figured if you plan to embark on your schedule of 2 chapters per week, maybe that would allow them to catch up soon-ish? :thinking:


Ok, I’ll say it.

From reading Murakami (not 1Q84) in English, I just don’t understand why he’s such a big deal. Maybe it’s the translation? Or at least I’m going to assume it’s the translation, since millions of Murakami fans can’t be wrong. (Well, actually they can, but anyway…)

So, she naively said, why don’t I read Murakami in Japanese? That’s the point of all that studying, right?

Everyone in this group may now laugh hysterically. Once you’re able to breathe again, though, I have a question. Is there a collection of shorter works (in Japanese) that’s a bit more approachable than the novels? Or a good bilingual edition?


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You mean because we think he is hard to read? No, not at all. To be honest, I think he’s rather on the easier side when it comes to Japanese authors whose works are geared towards adults…

For me, shorter works are usually less approachable than longer ones because the author has less time to unfold the story which can make the whole plot more dense and thus more difficult to unfold, and the reader has less time to settle into the writing style. But I also see that Murakami’s works are rather on the longer side, so it’s a huge time commitment when you’re still reading at a slower pace.

There is a Murakami book with short stories, actually. I’ve only read the first three (out of six) so far - I thought the first one was pretty easy, the second one was ok and the third one was really crazy hard, so you could maybe try the first one if you like? 神の子どもたちはみな踊る

Also, recently a friend gifted me a copy of another Murakami book: 村上ラヂオ3: サラダ好きのライオン It seems to be a collection of very short stories. So far I’ve only read the first few pages but I thought that it’s fairly ok.

If you feel you’d like a setting that comes with some more support, maybe this one would be for you? Read Real Japanese Essays It contains essays, so the feeling might be a bit different. I haven’t read it yet, but here are a few screenshots if you’re interested:

Read Real Japanese

Lots of famous authors in it:

The first page:

It also features a dictionary in the back:

Oh and there is even an audio CD.



I have the Read Real Japanese books. They were above my level the last time I tried them, but that was a while ago. Maybe time to take another look.

I’ll see if my public library has the others. (For other less-confident readers, libraries are an awesome way to check the difficulty level before you plunk down cash.)

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I work on this book at the moment. It’s basically my “study” currently.

The first 3–4 essays are okay reading material for my N2 level. So it starts really easy with the Murakami text. In contrast, the last 3 I read were some of the most dense/hard material I read in Japanese up to this point.
You can probably get something out of it at a little earlier stage of your Japanese journey. With the translations on the opposite site and explanations in the back of the book. But I feel It’s not really “reading” at that point and more of a study method (basically what I’m doing for 無常ということ atm). I would totally not recommend it before a solid N3 level.

BTW, the other one of the two books (Read Real Japanese Fiction) feels comparatively much easier to read. Though, it doesn’t have a Murakami story. I also haven’t finished that one yet, so I don’t know if the last two stories will be much more difficult. Fiction is a little more enjoyable for my taste ^^. On the other hand, the cultural insight of the essays is also real valuable.

One reason It might feel harder for me is that I primarily read fiction in my free time, so the style of essay writing is just a little foreign to me, and I’m not used to it.


Hahaha, that I am not sure of either :smile: But I’ll try my best to catch up with you guys as fast as I can :3


@NicoleIsEnough, where are you at in the book right now?

Still haven’t read chapter 16, but was planning to do so today. Where are you?

And @Greti33 how far did you make it so far?


Uh… Only up to Chapter 14 so far. Been busy with other things this week. I’ll try to pick up the pace. :saluting_face:


Ah it’s fine with me to go a bit slower :sweat_smile: So many books, so little time…

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Ah sorry, I am still quite a bit behind - just started chapter 6 :sweat_smile: Been a little too tired lately to read faster, but I’ll try to pick up the pace over the next few days :3


@Greti33 I noticed you are about to catch up with us! :tada: So I figured we might want to synchronize a bit :grin:
I’m still in the middle of Ch. 16 because I prioritized other books in the meantime. But ready to go along once you caught up!
@Jfredel78 How about you? Shall we read together from Ch. 16 or are you already way ahead?

And if we read together, at what pace should we go? We originally talked about reading 2 chapters per week, but I don’t know if this is too slow now for you @Greti33? :sweat_smile: as I see you read a chapter per day now!


@Greti33 A chapter a day? That’s impressive!

@NicoleIsEnough I just started Chapter 16, so I’m ready to synchronize. Should we do two chapters per week? Not sure I can commit to one per day. :sweat_smile:

Also, should we use this thread for discussion, or use the old threads from the previous read-through?


Perfect timing, it seems :+1:

I can’t do that either, I’m afraid - work will be getting somewhat busy soon, and there are other books out there waiting for me :eyes:

For the synch, we could wait until @Greti33 starts Chapter 16 (which should happen any minute now :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: no pressure :grin:), and then we could take that to be the first day of our “week” (no matter which weekday it is) and do 2 chapters a week starting from there? What do you think?

I would actually prefer to use the old threads and keep this thread for general topics. There is still so much material ahead of us that I fear it will become messy sooner or later if we keep using this thread for all discussion.


No way, 2 chapters per week is more than enough :sweat_smile: I just didn’t want to make you guys wait for so long and I had some extra time on my hands to spend on reading these past few days :smile:

Sounds good :3 I’ll let you know as soon as I get to chapter 16 then.


Ok phew :sweat_smile:

Thank you, I totally appreciate your effort! :pray:

Alright then! :+1:


Moving on to Chapter 17 now :wink:


Alright, I’ve finished chapter 15, ready to start 16 :3

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Challenge accepted! :grin:

So let’s read 16 and 17 until the next weekend, ok?

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