Super-Frog Saves Tokyo, by Haruki Murakami

super frog

 

 

An ordinary, 9-to-5 Japanese middle-class man meets a human-sized frog, offering him a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fight a monstrous underground monster that will, soon or later, demolish Tokyo.

Read this Murakami’s surrealist short story, published in June 2002, in GQ.

 

Excerpt:

 

“I know I should have made an appointment to visit you, Mr. Katagiri. I am fully aware of the proprieties. Anyone would be shocked to find a big frog waiting for him at home. But an urgent matter brings me here. Please forgive me.”

“Urgent matter?” Katagiri managed to produce words at last.

“Yes, indeed,” Frog said. “Why else would I take the liberty of barging into a person’s home? Such discourtesy is not my customary style.”

“Does this ‘matter’ have something to do with me?”

“Yes and no.” Frog said with a tilt of the head. ” No and yes.”

I’ve got to get a grip on myself, thought Katagiri. “Do you mind if I smoke?”

“Not at all, not at all,” Frog said with a smile. “It’s your home. You don’t have to ask my permission. Smoke and drink as much as you like. I myself am not a smoker, but I can hardly impose my distaste for tobacco on others in their own homes.”

Katagiri pulled a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket and struck a march. He saw his hand trembling as he lit up. Seated opposite him, Frog seemed to he studying his every movement.

“You don’t happen to be connected with some kind of gang by any chance?” Katagiri found the courage to ask.

“Ha ha ha ha ha ha! What a wonderful sense of humor you have, Mr. Katagiri!” Frog said, slapping his webbed hand against his thigh. “There may be a shortage of skilled labor, but what gang is going to hire a frog to do their dirty work? They’d be made a laughingstock.”

“Well, if you’re here to negotiate a repayment, you’re wasting your time. I have no authority to make such decisions. Only my superiors can do that, I just follow orders. I can’t do a thing for you.”

“Please, Mr. Katagiri,” Frog said, raising one webbed finger. “I have not come here on such petty business. I am fully aware that you are Assistant Chief of the lending division of the Shinjuku branch of the Tokyo Security Trust Bank. But my visit has nothing to do with the repayment of loans. I have come here to save Tokyo from destruction.”

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The Curious Day of Mr Jam: guide to an absurd world

nury vittachi

 

 

Why you should visit this website: at first sight, you’re gonna assume it’s just like another kinda ‘that-another-weird-news-blog’ you always see on Google, with formal (very formal, indeed) wordings covering up a surreal content. Until it turns out the blog belongs to Nury Vittachi.

Nury Vittachi, a Sri Lankan-born journalist now based in Hong Kong, has an exceptional knack on things weird, surreal, and abnormal – and moreover, his distinction in creating ‘not-your-ordinary-weird-news-blog’ with his conversational and approachable tone, as though he were somewhere out there, anytime ready to tell you a very long story. Last but not least, he keeps his language simple, and practically easy to understand.

Linkhttp://mrjam.typepad.com/

Another story about Jesus

jesus japan

 

 

A surreal legend has been circulating around a Japanese small hamlet (for generations) that Jesus Christ was never crucified, and instead sought refuge in Japan, living there until his death.

Read the full article on Smithsonian Magazine

 

Excerpt:

 

The Japanese are mostly Buddhist or Shintoist, and, in a nation of 127.8 million, about 1 percent identify themselves as Christian. The country harbors a large floating population of folk religionists enchanted by the mysterious, the uncanny and the counterintuitive. “They find spiritual fulfillment in being eclectic,” says Richard Fox Young, a professor of religious history at the Princeton Theological Seminary. “That is, you can have it all: A feeling of closeness—to Jesus and Buddha and many, many other divine figures—without any of the obligations that come from a more singular religious orientation.”

In Shingo, the Greatest Story Ever Told is retold like this: Jesus first came to Japan at the age of 21 to study theology. This was during his so-called “lost years,” a 12-year gap unaccounted for in the New Testament. He landed at the west coast port of Amanohashidate, a spit of land that juts across Miyazu Bay, and became a disciple of a great master near Mount Fuji, learning the Japanese language and Eastern culture. At 33, he returned to Judea—by way of Morocco!—to talk up what a museum brochure calls the “sacred land” he had just visited.

Having run afoul of the Roman authorities, Jesus was arrested and condemned to crucifixion for heresy. But he cheated the executioners by trading places with the unsung, if not unremembered, Isukiri. To escape persecution, Jesus fled back to the promised land of Japan with two keepsakes: one of his sibling’s ears and a lock of the Virgin Mary’s hair. He trekked across the frozen wilderness of Siberia to Alaska, a journey of four years, 6,000 miles and innumerable privations. This alternative Second Coming ended after he sailed to Hachinohe, an ox-cart ride from Shingo.

Upon reaching the village, Jesus retired to a life in exile, adopted a new identity and raised a family. He is said to have lived out his natural life ministering to the needy. He sported a balding gray pate, a coat of many folds and a distinctive nose, which, the museum brochure observes, earned him a reputation as a “long-nosed goblin.”