The first of your works to be introduced to English readers overseas was “A Wild Sheep Chase,” published in the United States in 1989. That year saw the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Japan move from the Showa Era into the Heisei Era (with the death of Emperor Hirohito and the enthronement of his son, Emperor Akihito). After that, the world changed in ways no one could have predicted.
The other day I was watching “The Battle of Algiers,” a film made in the 1960s, for the first time in a while. The film casts the colonizers, France, as the villains, and the Algerians fighting for their independence as the heroes, and it has been highly acclaimed. But watching it now, what’s going on in the film is almost the same as the terrorism of today. When you notice this, your feelings become more complex. In the 1960s, anti-colonialist struggles were in the right. Sharing those values, you can watch the film and agree with it. But now, in this age where right and wrong are unclear and change places in the blink of an eye, when I watch this film I get very confused.
“In this world, there is no absolute good, no absolute evil.” — ” Good and evil are not fixed, stable entities but are continually trading places.” You mention good and evil like this in your book “1Q84.” Rendering worlds where good and evil keep shifting around is characteristic of your work.
The biggest issue right now is that borders are disappearing. We have this thing called terrorism, like an integrated organism spreading across borders. This problem cannot be solved with Western European logic or strategy. They say they are destroying “terrorist nations” but by suppressing them with force, they merely make the terrorists disperse. I lived in the United States during the Iraq War, and was particularly stunned by the superficiality of the media’s reporting of it. Or perhaps I should say, the dangers of “American justice.” In the long run, what’s happening in the Western world now is the meltdown, diffusion and extinction of that logic. This process started from around the time the Berlin Wall fell.
-- Haruki Murakami, japantimes.com