Ryū Murakami (村上 龍) is a Japanese novelist and filmmaker. He is not related to Haruki Murakami or Takashi Murakami.

Murakami’s first work, the short novel Almost Transparent Blue, written while he was still a student, deals with promiscuity and drug use among disaffected Japanese youth. Critically acclaimed as a new style of literature, it won the newcomer’s literature prize in 1976 despite some observers decrying it as decadent. Later the same year, Blue won the Akutagawa Prize, going on to become a best seller. In 1980, Murakami published the much longer novel Coin Locker Babies, again to critical acclaim.

Takashi Miike’s feature film Audition (1999) was based on one of his novels. Murakami reportedly liked it so much he gave Miike his blessing to adapt Coin Locker Babies. The screen play was worked on by director Jordan Galland. However, Miike could not raise funding for the project. An adaptation directed by Michele Civetta is currently in production.

Murakami has played drums for a rock group called Coelacanth and hosted a TV talk show.

Books

In the Miso Soup

In the Miso Soup

It is just before New Year’s. Frank, an overweight American tourist, has hired Kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo’s sleazy nightlife on three successive evenings. But Frank’s behavior is so strange that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion: that his new client is in fact the serial killer currently terrorizing the city. It isn’t until later, however, that Kenji learns exactly how much he has to fear and how irrevocably his encounter with this great white whale of an American will change his life.

Audition

Audition

Documentary-maker Aoyama hasn’t dated anyone in the seven years since the death of his beloved wife, Ryoko. Now even his teenage son Shige has suggested he think about remarrying. So when his best friend Yoshikawa comes up with a plan to hold fake film auditions so that Aoyama can choose a new bride, he decides to go along with the idea

Piercing

Piercing

A pulsating psycho-thriller from Ryu Murakami, author of In the Miso Soup

A renaissance man for the postmodern age, Ryu Murakami—a musician, filmmaker (Tokyo Decadence), TV personality, and award-winning author—has gained a cult following in the West. His first novel, Almost Transparent Blue, won Japan’s most coveted literary prize and sold over a million copies, and his most recent psychosexual thriller, In the Miso Soup, gave readers a further taste of his incredibly agile imagination. In Piercing, Murakami, in his own unique style, explores themes of child abuse and what happens to the voiceless among us, weaving a disturbing, spare tale of two people who find each other and then are forced into hurting each other deeply because of the haunting specter of their own abuse as children.

Coin Locker Babies

Coin Locker Babies

A surreal coming-of-age tale that establishes Ryu Murakami as one of the most inventive young writers in the world today.

Abandoned at birth in adjacent train station lockers, two troubled boys spend their youth in an orphanage and with foster parents on a semi-deserted island before finally setting off for the city to find and destroy the women who first rejected them. Both are drawn to an area of freaks and hustlers called Toxitown. One becomes a bisexual rock singer, star of this exotic demimonde, while the other, a pole vaulter, seeks his revenge in the company of his girlfriend, Anemone, a model who has converted her condominium into a tropical swamp for her pet crocodile.

Together and apart, their journey from a hot metal box to a stunning, savage climax is a brutal funhouse ride through the eerie landscape of late-twentieth-century Japan.

Malevolence is born of negative feelings like loneliness and sadness and anger. It comes from an emptiness inside you that feels as if it’s been carved out with a knife, an emptiness you’re left with when something very important has been taken away from you

— Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup

People who love horror films are people with boring lives… when a really scary movie is over, you’re reassured to see that you’re still alive and the world still exists as it did before. That’s the real reason we have horror films – they act as shock absorbers – and if they disappeared altogether, I bet you’d see a big leap in the number of serial killers. After all, anyone stupid enough to get the idea of murdering people from a movie could get the same idea from watching the news.

— Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup

Everybody wants to talk about themselves, and everybody wants to hear everybody else’s story, so we take turns playing reporter and celebrity.

— Ryū Murakami

When you’re a kid, getting lost isn’t just an event or a situation, it’s like a career move. You get this thrill of anxiety and fear and a feeling that you’ve done something that can never be undone.

— Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup

Parents, teachers, government – they all teach you how to live the dreary , deadening life of a slave, but nobody teaches you how to live normally.

— Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup

They don’t realise that they’ve changed; they think it’s the world that changed.

— Ryū Murakami, Coin Locker Babies

… The type of loneliness where you need to keep struggling to accept a situation is fundamentally different than the sort you know you’ll get through if you just hang in there

— Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup

She’s like smoke:you think you’re seeing her clearly enough,but when you reach for her there’s nothing there

— Ryū Murakami

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