Ryu Murakami

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Ryu Murakami (村上 龍) is a Japanese filmmaker and writer. While he has directed several films, most of his films are adaptations of his books.



Murakami was born on February 19th, 1952 in Sasebo, Nagasaki. When he was younger he tried to play football for his high school, but when that fell flat he decided to join a rock group named “The Fish Cavity Spike” until he was kicked out of high school for protesting on the rooftop in 1970 (his history with the band and his subsequent suspension were the inspiration for his fifth novel tiled “69”).

After he got back into high school and finished his degree, he decided to go Musashino Art University. It was there, while still attending the art school that he completed his first novel, “Almost Transparent Blue.”

Artistic Career

Books by Murakami

Most of Murakami’s work is considered postmodern fiction. His work tends to outline the idea of individualism, which he sees as both lacking and taboo in Japanese society. He wants people to let go of conformity and not simply take orders, though he acknowledges that many people would struggle to do this.

His novels reflect this belief. Many of them are about rebellion and protagonists struggling to find their own identity.

Bibliography (Books that have been translated into English are denoted by the $ sign after the year)

  • Almost Transparent Blue (1976$)
  • War Begins Beyond the Sea (1977)
  • Coin Locker Babies (1980$)
  • Run! Takahasi (1986)
  • 69 (1987$)
  • Raffles Hotel (1989)
  • Ecstasy (1993)
  • The World Five Minutes From Now (1994)
  • Piercing (1994$)
  • Kyoko (1995)
  • In Miso Soup (1997$)
  • Strange Days (1997)
  • Lines (1998)
  • Parasites (2000)
  • Melancholia (2000)

Film Career

Murakami has also had a successful film career as a screenplay writer. His films are most often screenplays based on his own novels. Below is a list of the films he has written.

  • Almost Transparent Blue (adaptation)
  • All Right, My Friend
  • Raffles Hotel (adaptation)
  • Tokyo Decadence
  • Love and Pop
  • Audition
  • Because of You
  • 走れ!イチロー(No English Title, Translates to Run! Ichiro, adaptation of “Run! Takahasi”)
  • 69 (adaptation)
  • Coin Locker Babies (adatptation)

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