9 Things We Learn from Murakami

What’s your favorite line?

Be it a line from a film, a song or a book, there will be such words carefully etched and formed into a statement that will surely shoot you straight from the heart. It will crush your soul and will give you those OH-MY-GAAAAHD-a-tear-fell-mehuhuhu moments. Or you might just jot in down in an old crisp paper you’ve been saving for such wondrous discoveries to write about.

One dead serious thing about me, that you might find peculiar is the heavy influx of Post-it notes in my computer desk filled with different quotes I’ve picked out from a film, a book or a song. I also keep a notebook (actually 4) of which I put quotes I want to remember. It’s a clutter of different statements but oh what the heck.

AND SOOOOO….

YESTERDAY,

while reading a book, I got this idea of sharing you guys interesting lines from the books of Haruki Murakami. He’s a multi-awarded Japanese author of surreal and humurous stories of  alienation, loneliness and unrequited love. Murakami is actually a personal favorite (I hope I can push with Neil Gaiman for the next list of lines).

I’ve worked quite a few hours to make this visually remarkable with the story where I got the quotes from ( pictures used are vital symbols or photos in the story).

Also, I’d be mentioning a quick background of the book where I got the lines from.

Here it is!

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9. A Wild Sheep Chase is the third book of Murakami’s Trilogy of the Rats. Published in 1982, the story revolves around an unnamed man who goes on an adventure through the cities of Tokyo and Hokkaido in order to hunt for a sheep that had disappeared for seven years. The protagonist then meets a woman with magically seductive ears and a man who dresses like a sheep and has slurred speech.

A Wild Sheep Chase has been defined as a parody or a renewal of Yukio Mishima’s Natsuko no Bōken (夏子の冒険, Natsuko’s Adventure)”

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8. South of the Border, written in 1992 and translated in 1999, is a short novel of regrets. Hajime, from a small town in Japan meets Shimamoto, a girl who suffers from polio (she has to drag her legs because of her condition). They spent their childhood together talking and mostly listening to records owned by Shimamoto. They grew apart and had been reunited after 36 years. Hajime is now an owner of two jazz clubs and is a father to two kids. A swirl of “what ifs” puzzled Hajime’s mind because of Shimamoto’s random appearance and her reluctance to tell any story about her. Meeting her again, Hajime is forced “to choose between his wife and family or attempting to recapture the magic of the past.”

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7. First published in 1988, and translated in 1994, Dance Dance Dance is the sequel next to “A Wild Sheep Chase”. This, quite obviously, is a continuation of the third book where the unnamed protagonist goes back to the hotel that he and the woman (with the magically seductive ears) stayed. She suddenly disappeared without a trace. And this moment, the unnamed man dreams of her and the Sheep Man leading him to two mysteries. First is the question of how to survive the unsurvivable. Second is the murder of a call-girl, and his film actor friend is circumstantially involved. Murakami said that he enjoyed writing this novel the most after his unexpected fame from Norwegian Wood.

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6. 1Q84 is one of Murakami’s recent book written in 2011. The title, 1Q84 is actually the year 1984 since the plot is set in the fictional year of 1984, divided into three sets of time (April-June, July-September, October-December). Q is a wordplay by Murakami since Q is pronounced the same with number 9 in Japanese (kyu). I’ve been personally reading this right now but is still at the first few chapters of the book.  However, I can’t help myself getting such awesome lines one after the other. From what I can initially get from this is the existence of an alternate reality or the questioning of such existence.

“While Aomame and Tengo impact on each other in various ways, at times by accident and at times intentionally, they come closer and closer to meeting. Eventually the two of them notice that they are indispensable to each other. Is it possible for them to ever meet in the real world?”

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5. Now this one’s a great book they say. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle revolves around Toru Okada, an unemployed man whose cat ran away. A chain of events revealed a much more complicated life than he thought he had already seen.

“In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.”

The book is also divided into three parts: The Thieving Magpie, Bird as Prophet and The Birdcatcher.

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4. Sputnik Sweetheart was written in 1999 and translated in 2001. Sumire, K and Miu is bound in a twisted love triangle. Sumire, a writer financially depends on K, an elementary school teacher. K falls in love with Sumire. Sumire thinks otherwise. At a wedding, Sumire met Miu, an ethnic Korean woman. Sumire, for the first time fell in love with Miu. Miu offers Sumire a job and she accepted it. Since then, Sumire tried her best to impress Miu by changing her sedentary lifestyle completely (even her smoking habit). K happened to be just a friend whom Sumire can talk to about other things. Then Sumire disappeared. Up until the last part, which is also an open ending, when one night, Sumire called K to tell him that she is back in Japan and decides to reciprocate K’s feelings, and asks him to pick her up at the same phone booth she always called him from.

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3. Kafka on the Shore, his 2002 book, is about a teenage boy’s mission of finding his sister and mother and left his father and probably escaping from his Oedipal prophecy. The only clue he has is a picture of a beach and a blurred image of probably her mother and sister. He finds refuge in a private library in Takamatsu and spends his time reading a lot of books. Another protagonist of the story is Nakata, known as a cat whisperer who can find lost cats, has acquired a peculiar disorder after an incident back in his childhood during World War II (and yes, Philippines was mentioned there). They might have seen each other but did not know it. They collided, but their reality is not the same as each other’s.

“Due to the Oedipal theme running through much of the novel, Kafka on the Shore has been called a modern Greek tragedy.”

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2. Still Kafka on the Shore. But I would like to share to you the origin behind this quote I find magical. Greek and Japanese mythology encapsulates a certain kind of belief that there existed three kinds of humans, a male, a female and a male-female. But the gods deemed their existence as chaotic and unnecessary. The gods decided to split the male-female in half. Today, each person’s mission is to find their better half, the missing piece to their incomplete being because once they were separated but they have to endeavor the pursuit of being one again with their better half. Deeply touching isn’t it?

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1. Huhuhu finally! Norwegian Wood! The Beatles once wrote a song like this. This also became a Japanese film in 2010 starring Ken’ichi Matsuyama, Rinko Kikuchi and Kiko Mizuhara. Both watched the film and read the story, it still gave me goosebumps when I hear the song Norwegian Wood. It talks about Toru reminiscing his past life on a plane when the song “Norwegian Wood” played. He had once been great friends with Kizuki and his girlfriend Naoko. After Kizuki killed himself (in a very awful manner of gas suffocation), Naoko is left with Toru. After her 20th birthday, Naoko entered a sanatorium to reclaim her emotional stability. Toru now entering college, frequently visited Naoko and spends time with her until the time he met Midori. Midori’s quite an aggressive classmate of Toru who showed immediate interest on him. Toru was left to choose between Midori and Naoko. However, Naoko also committed suicide and when he proclaims his love for Midori on a phone call, she hung up, leaving an open end to the story.

So there you go! I’ll publish a similar list of Gaiman’s. Feel free to suggest other authors though. Or probably songs! That would be awesome!!! :))))

Now can you tell me, what’s your favorite line?

Rice-ing to the Top

I haven’t shared this truly amazing experience I had in one of my GE class last semester. The week had not been that great because of the foreseen bad weather yet to arrive the metro. The storm struck the country the day the whole class left from Manila and got on board for Banaue.

Considered as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras surely please the eye of its spectators. According to our GE class professor, there are five sites: the Batad Rice Terraces, Bangaan Rice Terraces (both in Banaue), Mayoyao Rice Terraces (in Mayoyao), Hungduan Rice Terraces (in Hungduan) and Nagacadan Rice Terraces (inKiangan), are all in the Ifugao Province. The one we visited was garnered so far to be the most beautiful site among others, The Batad Rice Terraces. 

The trip to Batad was no easy way. We’ve travelled for long hours on steep hillside roads with the sudden pour of rain to add thrill to our journey. 

Well this one’s not quite steep or narrow, but the soil turned to mud leaving us nowhere to hold on to if you slip all the way down. (Friction disappears)

The first had been totally a test of our hiking skills. The path was too narrow and too steep. Plus it started to rain really hard, thus leaving the coarse soil into squishy mud tracks. Our life happen to rest in the hands of good rubber shoes and fate (well some were able to bring walking sticks with them= Clever guys).

FINALLY! Our pit stop! Strenuous exercise indeed. 😛

I felt helpless after a long hike. My knees were shaking that time and all I could think of is sleep + shower + fooooooood. Our lunch had been a bit late but nonetheless the first day was dedicated to fully absorb the beauty of the place and a dash of bonding time with the people we will be together with for the weekend.

What I enjoyed the most out of this trip was the whole time we were in the village. The village was situated further down the mountain on the other side from where we were staying.  We danced to the tune of their instruments, ate lunch which was so fresh and lovely, plus the wonderful experience of harvesting rice from the beautiful rice field staircase of Batad.

With the kids of Batad. Must wear a smile, always, no matter how tired you may be

Say cheese 😀

Magnificent view from behind, pardon us for blocking the view, but our faces all clad with smiles are quite a wonderful view too 🙂

SWEET SWEET VICTORY of having the chance to sit right behind the terraces of Batad!

Look at those intricately structured staircase of golden crops.

Enjoying the sunny day in the village. Meanwhile in Manila, the storm’s pretty ruining the daylight

Photo bummer ALERT! They could be just lurking from behind

And yet again another attack of Rice Field Photo Bummers hihi

Dance to the rhythm and the beat of the shiny gongs!

Just a normal day at the field 😀

This is one great shot of the rice I’ve harvested, too few compared to others though 🙂

View from up the rice terraces, still a beautiful picture of some sites within the area.

WE ARE GOLDEN
-Harvested rice

The fog in the place happen to appear and disappear quite often. It adds mystery to the view.

WE SURVIVED THE EIGHT WONDER OF THE WORLD!
SEA 30 First Semester AY 2012-2013 Classes of Sir Raymond Macapagal
Batad Rice Terraces August 8-10, 2012

Hope you get to be encouraged by the beauty of the place! It surely is a breathtaking moment up there. 😀

Photo credits to Kuya Isaac Sion, Sir Raymond Macapagal and Bea Kalaw

PRESS START TO… naaaaah! I’ll just enjoy the rest of the day

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I can’t seem to start anything productive!

I need some inspiration, or perfect pressure to set the mood of going back to good old books and study…

I can’t even find a way to ignore useless stuff.

Please oh please let me get back to the cycle of academics 😛

And save me from the nightmares of unpreparedness and laziness.

With this I shall start, or not haha

HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS!Image

 

photos from clipdealer and freeimageslive.co.uk

Transparent thoughts on virtual space

I’ve always asked myself if I feel the need to make a personal blog like this. I have tried several times but as time progresses, I got tired telling the cyberspace about things I know the people in it won’t have that much interest. I personally want to start a photo blog, but since I don’t have a camera yet with me to take beautiful pictures imagined to be, I can as well start with this, a new interactive journal I can trust.

What triggered me to do such thing as this? Well I don’t have a bit of a clue but I just can’t handle all the crazy stuff I experienced for this year. It is just too juicy to tell at least not to a person who might react on my foolishness negatively but rather to a wall, a page I could tailor-fit to my best visual interest.

What deeply bothers me is to how I can keep maintaining such virtual journal, aside from the possible interruptions of my internet connection which could happen anytime, I am undoubtedly distracted by more things I have to check and emotions or thoughts I have to ponder.

I look forward to an active response of my consciousness regarding the art of web logging. But I would always prefer this to be a journal, just upgraded though. 🙂