Haruki Murakami: Storytelling and Productive Distance studies the evolution of the monogatari, or narrative and storytelling in the works of Haruki Murakami. Author Chikako Nihei argues that Murakami’s power of monogatari lies in his use of distancing effects; storytelling allows individuals to "cross" into a different context, through which they can effectively observe themselves and reality. His belief in the importance of monogatari is closely linked to his generation’s experience of the counter-­‐‑culture movement in the late1960s and his research on the 1995 Tokyo Sarin Gas Attack caused by the Aum shinrikyo cult, major events in postwar Japan that revealed many people’s desire for a stable narrative to interact with and form their identity from.

chapter 1|7 pages


chapter 2|18 pages

Distancing Japanese Literary Tradition

Monogatari and Language

chapter 3|18 pages

“Departure” from the Distrust of Language

Narration as Engagement

chapter 4|30 pages

Narrativising Memories

Murakami’s Attempt at a Realist Novel in Norwegian Wood

chapter 6|47 pages

Writing in the Space In-Between

Murakami’s Exploration of Cross-Cultural Effects

chapter 7|12 pages


Monogatari as Antibody, 1Q84, and Stories after “Fukushima”