A few days ago, I received a message from Luisito from Cuba. The sound engineer when Ryu Murakami recorded in Cuba was a friend of Luisito’s, and I said I’d like to hear from him. His message was about it.
I thought I had to finish reading “Almost Transparent Blue’ again. I think I read it once when I was in my 20s and still living in New York.
For us and the slightly older generation, “Ryu Murakami” was a “popular writer.” I think I read it because it’s a very famous work, and I thought the title, “Almost Transparent Blue,” was beautiful.
But I couldn’t understand the book and I felt disgusted.
About six months ago, I bought the e-book “Almost Transparent Blue” as an e-book.I couldn’t quite read through it.
Drugs, sex, vomiting, violence. Those descriptions were really tough for me, and for someone like me who wasn’t good at reading and understanding text, my mind got tired from trying to understand the text in “literature” and I ended up falling asleep many times. .
After 30 years have passed, I think I was able to feel some things that I couldn’t feel back then but yet it was difficult for me.
For the past few months, I had been looking for and reading about Ryu Murakami and Cuba. In particular, Mr. Ryu was involved in Cuba, he made a movie “KYOKO”. And in his essay (“All men are expendable items”) from the time he wrote “KYOKO” , it shows how he feels about Cuba. I think there was a key to understanding to some extent what was happening inside Ryu through his involvement with Cuba.
On the obi of the first edition of “KYOKO” was written “A story of hope and rebirth.” I felt like I understood the word “hope,” but I didn’t understand the meaning of “rebirth.” But in the essay from when I wrote “KYOKO”,
[Around the time I finished editing the film, I wrote the novel “Kyoko.” As I was writing this, I kept thinking back to when I was writing my debut novel. I wrote “Kyoko” as if writing a novel for the first time in my life. That’s different from “with a fresh mindset.” I felt that I was returning to the “spirit” that I had when I wrote “Blue that is Almost Transparent.” I don’t know if that’s why, but the word “rebirth” often appears near the end of the Kyoko novel. ]
(Ryu Murakami. All men are expendable items. VOL.1 to VOL.13: August 1984 to September 2013, 30th anniversary of serialization, complete edition (p.799). MurakamiRyuDenshibonSeisakusho. Kindle version.)
Living in Cuba helped me “rebuildt” myself.
I didn’t realize it when I was admiring the United States and following it, but as I became more involved with the history of the Pacific War and American veterans through music, I realized that the “Japanese in me” was deeply hurt.
Japan lost the war.
Japan was “given” education, sanitation, and economy by the United States, but it lost its self-respect and pride.
Even though two atomic bombs were dropped on us, we could not even get angry about it, and instead reflected on it.
“Almost Transparent Blue”, it is important factors, that on the people of war winners and losers between Americans and Japanese that Ryu Murakami saw through the eyes since a child who was born and raised in a “base town.” I think so.
[In the base town, they were the absolute ones.
Children and dogs can see through who has the power and who has the right to make decisions.
The weak cannot survive unless they can see through this. ]
Ryu Murakami.All men are expendable. VOL.1 to VOL.13: August 1984 to September 2013, 30th anniversary commemorative edition (p.754).MurakamiRyuDenshibonSeisakusho.Kindle version.”
Why did the writer Ryu Murakami commit to Cuba?
I also think that “defeat,” “base town,” and “America” are very important factors for the “infinitely transparent blue.”
Two Cuban friends told me they would like to read Ryu Murakami’s works.One of them was Luisito, and the other was a Cuban living in the Netherlands who was promoting LosVanVan.
I think “Blue, Almost Transparent” is a difficult work to understand. However, if you have a chance, please read it.
In his essay, when Ryu first started visiting Cuba, he wrote, “His land has what the Japanese have lost.”
I think so too.
I hope Cuba never loses that.