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: Distancing Japanese Literary Tradition: Monogatari and Language
Chapter 2: ‘Departure’ from the Distrust of Language: Narration as Engagement
Chapter 3: Narrativising Memories: Murakami’s Attempt at a Realist Novel in Norwegian Wood
Chapter 4: Distance within, Will to Imagine, and Power of Metaphor in Kafka on the Shore
Chapter 5: Writing in the Space In-Between: Murakami’s Exploration of Cross-Cultural Effects
Conclusion: Monogatari as an Antibody, "Walls and Eggs" and 1Q84