A darkly satirical tale of the generation and gender gaps in Japanese society, Ruy Murakami’s Popular Hits of the Showa Era is a literary karaoke act combining manga and street culture
It’s a set-up like a video game: two rival gangs fight to death for the control of a Tokyo district. In one gang, six young losers committed only to drinking, voyeurism and karaoke singing, in the other six tough independent older women. From ambush to revenge, both groups are gradually decimated until the ultimate showdown. In Murakami’s inimitably brutal and brilliant style, Popular Hits dissects the gender and generational conflicts of contemporary society in a hilarious satire.
Murakami is mercilessly funny as he tracks his characters’ evolution from twits to scholars of guerrilla warfare’New Yorker
‘One of the funniest and strangest gang wars in recent literature’Booklist
Ryu Murakami’s Popular Hits From the Showa Era is translated from the Japanese by Ralph McCarthy and published by Pushkin Press
Born in 1952 in Nagasaki prefecture, Ryu Murakami is the enfant terrible of contemporary Japanese literature. Awarded the prestigious Akutagawa Prize in 1976 for his first book, a novel about a group of young people drowned in sex and drugs, he has gone on to explore with cinematic intensity the themes of violence and technology in contemporary Japanese society. His novels include Coin Locker Babies, Sixty-Nine, Popular Hits of the Showa Era, Audition, In the Miso Soup and From the Fatherland, with Love. Murakami is also a screenwriter and a director; his films include Tokyo Decadence, Audition and Because of You.