Monday, December 23, 2013

Singing “Norwegian Wood” in Tokyo

I visited Japan last summer, for the first time, and I considered myself lucky. We’ve all heard much about this country - the land of the rising sun - famous and hallowed and grand.
Long before, this incredible nation stole my heart. That time I read a gorgeous novel. “Memoirs of a Geisha”. By Arthur Golden. This book largely talks the magical art of a geisha and her struggling, but I chose to adore the sensual description of beautiful landscapes of Kyoto and Tyoko and their social values and integrity.

More importantly, I’ve learnt so many other things about Japan (especially Tokyo, Kyoto and Kobe) from Haruki Murakami, the creator of about a dozen of masterpiece books like that of my favorites, “Norwegian Wood” and “The Wind-up Bird Chronicle”. I fell in love with Haruki and his beautiful country, Japan. And ever since I wanted visit this country, embrace it, experience wonderful moments.

So in Japan, last summer, I travelled around and stayed in Chiba, Yokohama, Tokyo and Asakusa. I was absolutely fascinated by the edgy, stylish and high-street conformity of these cities, which is to tell you, the ultimate shopping mecca. The people very gorgeous, the streets perfectly organized and clean, and the technology unbelievably advanced.    
I walked many roads, ran across a sea, passed through parks, met many people and dined in several ethnic restaurants. Noticing everywhere, and feeling everything.

All this reminded me something, deep inside, remotely familiar. And I nervously felt that I’ve walked those roads, felt the touch of the wind, the smell of summer, heard the sound of the sea, and tasted those foods. Already.  

I had realized, then, that how much a book can impact readers. Because all this that I read in the books, wonderful books by Haruki and Arthur. Reading a good book is amazing, and travelling to that place is truly the second visit. Believe me. 

One fine morning, I sat in a park near the Sky Tree in Tokyo drinking pepsi that I bought from the vending machine. The Sky Tree, the park, the summer air, and the people walking by instantaneously reminded some lines from Haruki’s masterpiece, “Norwegian Wood”.

“I sat here for a long time, watching…people passing… This was an early summer day. The people we passed carried their jumpers or jackets over their shoulders or in the arms. Everyone looked happy in the warm Sunday afternoon sun.”
It buoyed me so much to do and experience exactly what this wonderful writer wrote in his book. And immediately, I asked a passerby about Haruki and his address. I couldn’t meet him, but I knew where he stays in Tokyo. 
It rained on my last night out there, not so heavy though. I ordered a cocktail in my hotel room. As I sipped on it, I watched the endless rain beyond the window pouring down over the city lights. It looked mesmerizing. The cocktail and the summer rain intoxicated me, and urged me to sing a song, the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood”,

                                   I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me...
                                   She showed me her room, isn't it good, norwegian wood?
                                   She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere,
                                   So I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair.
                                   ..……

13 comments:

  1. Wonderful piece indeed sir. I haven't read the book .....but i can feel me in you and the writer of the book when you describe the peaceful moments. That's what i like most about reading. Feeling yourself to be inside the writer and journeying along with him.
    Well, i guess i have also reached Japan now through your post sir. haha.!!

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    1. Great to know, Kinley, that you too feel the same. Do study well and always drop by this site of mine.

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  2. Truly beautiful! Reading transports you and more so if you read a good book you are altogether in a different place.
    You've perfectly portrayed Murakami in this beautiful post, loved it till its end.

    It has just been recent that I've started reading Murakami's works and ever since then, I've been absolutely in love with his fabulous work. Arthur Golden's The Memoirs of a Geisha is another beautiful master piece portraying Japan's art and culture, I loved it in my sophomore days in college.

    The Land of the rising sun is on my wish list, I hope to visit it some day.
    Until then, keep blogging. You're inspiring. Cheers!

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    1. Thank you for the comment, and great to know that you too started reading Haruki's works. I hope you really loved them and keep visiting la.

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  3. The way you have tried to reconcile what you've read in a book and what you've seen with your own eyes is very impressive. Reading your post, I felt truly inspired to visit this country - the land of rising sun as you have put it. Keep blogging and inspiring us Rikku sir..

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    1. As always, I am very grateful that you visit my blog and put efforts to write down something here, on my blog. Thank you and keep blogging.

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  4. It's so full of emotion. But it seems so sad and gloomy to me. However it is a nice post!! :)
    And you know what? I've also learnt lots of thing about Bhutan from your blog posts and made my Bhutan journey wonderful :) But I was much luckier than you because I managed to find the writer even had trips together to witness and enjoy the beautiful natures that you described, especially about your hometown ^^ Keep writing Riku!

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    1. You are right la, this post is gloomy and the song really says all about it. But gloominess and sadness is also part of our life, it happens to an individual one day other. Thanks for the encouragement though. Keep blogging la.

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  5. beautiful post Riku sir, i would love to read the book.
    Keep blogging and inspiring us,

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Tshewang. You also keep updating your blog.

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  6. You are way too lucky to experience such beautiful moments. I am looking forward to read the book :)

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    1. Thank you Yeesi, you can love the books by Haruki.

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  7. Do you drink Pepsi or Coke?
    SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER and you could win a prepaid VISA gift card!

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