Fans in Japan rush to get Murakami book with esoteric title

People buy copies of the new book written by Haruki Murakami at a book store in Tokyo shortly after midnight, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Murakami's new book "Kishidancho Goroshi," or "Killing Commendatore," is a two-part story about a 36-year-old portrait painter and the mysterious incidents that happen after his wife divorces him and he moves into an old house on a mountainside west of Tokyo. (Fumine Tsutabayashi/Kyodo News via AP)
A woman poses with books written by Haruki Murakami, at a book store in Tokyo shortly after midnight, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Murakami's new book "Kishidancho Goroshi," or "Killing Commendatore," is a two-part story about a 36-year-old portrait painter and the mysterious incidents that happen after his wife divorces him and he moves into an old house on a mountainside west of Tokyo. (Kazuhiko Yamashita/Kyodo News via AP)
In this Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, photo, workers prepare a display before the start of the sale of Haruki Mrakami's new book in Osaka, western Japan. Murakami's new book "Kishidancho Goroshi," or "Killing Commendatore," is a two-part story about a 36-year-old portrait painter and the mysterious incidents that happen after his wife divorces him and he moves into an old house on a mountainside west of Tokyo. The sign reads "Haruki Murakami. Full-scale long story in seven years." (Tsuyoshi Ueda/Kyodo News via AP)
People buy copies of the new book written by Haruki Murakami at a make shift corner outside a book store in Tokyo Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Murakami's new book "Kishidancho Goroshi," or "Killing Commendatore," is a two-part story about a 36-year-old portrait painter and the mysterious incidents that happen after his wife divorces him and he moves into an old house on a mountainside west of Tokyo. (Fumine Tsutabayashi/Kyodo News via AP)
People buy copies of the new book written by Haruki Murakami at a book store in Tokyo shortly after midnight, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Murakami's new book "Kishidancho Goroshi," or "Killing Commendatore," is a two-part story about a 36-year-old portrait painter and the mysterious incidents that happen after his wife divorces him and he moves into an old house on a mountainside west of Tokyo. (Fumine Tsutabayashi/Kyodo News)
New books written by Haruki Murakami are placed on display for sale at a book store in Osaka, western Japan Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Murakami's new book "Kishidancho Goroshi," or "Killing Commendatore," is a two-part story about a 36-year-old portrait painter and the mysterious incidents that happen after his wife divorces him and he moves into an old house on a mountainside west of Tokyo. (Tsuyoshi Ueda/Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO — Fans of Haruki Murakami rushed to Japanese bookstores Friday to get his latest work with an esoteric title.

"Kishidancho Goroshi," or "Killing Commendatore," is a two-part story about a 36-year-old portrait painter and what happens after his wife divorces him and he moves into an old house on a mountainside west of Tokyo. The mysterious events include meeting a neighbor and finding the painting that shares the book's title.

Murakami has described it as a very strange story.

Devoted fans of the internationally acclaimed and best-selling writer lined up outside stores on the eve of the book launch.

Shinchosha Publishing Co. said overseas availability is not yet known. No details are known yet on translations.

Murakami, 68, usually shies away from the limelight, although he has spoken out on issues such as world peace and nuclear energy.

He began writing while running a jazz bar in Tokyo after finishing college. His 1987 romantic novel "Norwegian Wood" was his first best-seller, establishing him as a young literary star.

The preceding novel "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage" was released in Japan in 2013, and a collection of short stories, "Men Without Women," was published in 2014. His million-seller "1Q84" in 2009 was one of his longest novels, with the Japanese edition coming out in three volumes.

The book launch coincides with "Premium Friday" government initiative to encourage office workers to leave early for a longer weekend.

Unfortunately, fans in Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido would have to wait until Saturday to get their books because a freight train carrying the shipment had an accident, Shinchosha said.

The publisher has said 1.3 million copies are planned for first-edition prints, a huge number for Japanese literature that usually comes in the several thousands.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

Find her work at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/mari-yamaguchi

People also read these

Hong Kong actor Eric Tsang denies sexual...

Jan 17, 2018

Well-known Hong Kong actor Eric Tsang has vehemently denied rumors of sexual misconduct by him

AP PHOTOS: People in Asia and beyond welcome...

Feb 16, 2018

AP PHOTOS: People in Asia and around the world have been celebrating the Lunar New Year Friday

Communist Party will regulate China's media, film...

Mar 23, 2018

The Communist Party is taking direct control of China's broadcasters and will regulate everything...

Japan hotel chain under fire over denial of Rape...

Jan 18, 2017

A fast-growing Japanese hotel chain is facing criticism over a book penned by the chain's owner...

Japan's parliament proposes abdication law for...

Mar 17, 2017

Japanese ruling and opposition parties have handed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a proposal urging his...

About Us

Frontal Report is an emerging leader in all forms of media. We aim to be the leading news brand for readers around the world.

Contact us: sales[at]frontalreport.com

Subscribe Now!