"The cat had come back to me, and I had to begin to move forward to some extent."
"But in Murakami’s fiction, Manchukuo is a supernatural place as well as a physical landscape. The desert, and by extension, Japan’s urge to colonize its neighbors, is the origin of a “curse” that hangs over those who fought there and contemporary Japan. In A Wild Sheep Chase, the curse can be “caught,” like a physical disease. In The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, a young soldier is metaphysically cursed with the words, “Wherever you may be, you can never be happy. You will never love anyone or be loved by anyone.” In both novels, the curse, passed from the soldier to contemporary life in the center of Japan, must be defeated by a sympathetic but otherwise ordinary Tokyo yuppie...For Murakami, the curse is not a punishment or atonement for bloody atrocities. It is simply the blame-neutral result of stirring up the underlying order of the world. Murakami argues that war and colonization make people go where one should not be, both physically and supernaturally."
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