artist credit: @darumaaaane on twitter

Beware! Spoilers

I will be using spoiler tags sparingly for what I consider to be major plot points but expect spoilers for any works mentioned at the beginning of a post.



Finished off another 天五 chapter, we were treated to some more backstory on this character, and some generational backstory and world history too. I'm not qualified to weigh in on Murakami's understanding of Japan in Manchuria during the second world war because it's completely unfamiliar territory to me (maybe something I should read up on). Instead of going in the order presented in the book, I'll lay out my timeline of Tengo & fam as I know it so far. His Dad grows up a poor farmer in a poor farmer town and goes to Manchuria as a "settler" in hopes of, if not a stable and peaceful existence, something better than the looming prospect of starvation. Tengo papa goes through even worse conditions, sees the horrors of occupation & war, and is saved by someone who gives him advance warning of the Soviet attack on Manchuria. He races to catch the next steam train out of town and eventually winds up back in Tokyo where the same man sets him up with a sweet gig at the NHK as a 集金人. Tengo papa marries and has tengo, tengo mama supposedly dies shortly after childhood. Tengo papa is oddly quiet on this matter compared to how his stories about his time in the military, his daring escape, his rise to the ranks of a mid level and relatively comfortable job, which he actually tells tengo as bedtime stories (I remember when I was a kid, I would often prompt my mom to tell me 'stories about her childhood' before bed, I found it interesting to hear about a different time through the perspective of someone I knew well and loved, who was now living in the same world I am). To condense some more stuff, tengo knows there's something suspicious about this as he has memories going back to being around one year old and seeing his mom NTRing his dad which is uh... great, nice Murakami (when I find out the secret meaning behind the weird shit, I will regret my words and actions). Tengo becomes a Math lecturer who is good at talking as long as he's on the 講壇, and does some publishing work with a man named 小松 who is a whole nother story. TLDR tengo hates Sundays Better wrap this up, it's getting late. This whole flashback is during a scene with him and ふかえり on the train where he's got some bad news that she didn't actually pen 空気さなぎ . Or maybe she did? She starts talking about how she dictates the story to someone named アザミ before she gets too paranoid that "they" will hear her... where I finally wound up is Aomame doing some research at the library looking through old newspapers to reconsile the weird Mandela effect stuff she's been noticing. Will want to read more tomorrow! bye

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