Haruki Murakami's "1Q84" discussion

1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3)
This topic is about 1Q84
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NHK collector

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message 1: by John (last edited Aug 24, 2013 04:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

John (johnred) | 6 comments (contains spoilers)

Hi everyone!

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the obsessive phantom NHK collector who harrasses Aomame and Fuka-Eri (while she's staying at Tengo's place)?

My main impression is that he may be a manifestation of guilt or stress -- or maybe of the ire of the Little People. I think it is significant that Tengo never experiences this himself - presumably because Aomame's assassination of Leader has taken the LP's focus away from Tengo.

One interesting thing I recall is that Tengo seemed to think it was his father who was causing it. He confronted him about it and told him to stop bothering people...however, afterwards there were at least one or two more incidents. Was Tengo just totally mistaken?

Anyone have any ideas about the meaning behind these events in general?


Dominique I think it was Tengo's father. Maybe he was in his own 'Town of Cats'. If you noticed, after Tengo's father passes away there's no more visits from that phantom NHK collector. Moreover, while he was unconscious, the nurse did say he was tapping on the bed frame now and again.

However, maybe it's a bit of both or something entirely different. I don't think there's a clear cut answer, but I feel Tengo's father had such a strong identity as a NHK collector afterwards he seemed to become empty. Maybe in his subconscious he tried to relive that part of his life. I probably make no sense to be honest.


message 3: by Whitney (last edited Aug 27, 2013 06:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Whitney | 18 comments I agree with it being Tengo's father. The fee collector's tenacity and language are exactly as Tengo had described them. I also agree that his NHK identity was so integral to his being that there was a type of psychic resonance, maybe loosed by the transition into the 1Q84 world. I also think it's related to the leader's explanation to Aomame that switching tracks into 1Q84 draws in “uninvited passengers” as well.


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