Asian studies in Lithuania
Original language: Japanese
Translated from: English
Authors: Murakami, Ryu
Translated by: Žalytė, Danguolė
Full translated source bibliographical description:

Ryu Murakami, 69. Vilnius: Versus Aureus, 2004.

ISBN: 9955-601-09-4
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 2004
Publisher: Versus Aureus

The book “69” starts like this: “Nineteen sixty-nine was the year student uprisings shut down Tokyo University. The Beatles put out The White Album, Yellow Submarine. The Rolling Stones released their greatest single ‘Honky Tonk Women’, and people known as hippies wore their hair long and called for love and peace. In Paris, De Goulle resigned. The war in Vietnam continued”. Japanese youth also participated in various political demonstrations, rebelled against their parents, teachers, and in their opinion all authorities.

But this is not the main theme of this novel. It is rather ironic, even mocking story about seventeen years old Kensuke, who friends called Ken. He not really cared about all the war and other political problems. Even though he talked about major issues, quoted famous authors, poets and lyrics, which were popular among youth at that time, and his friends thought he was very smart but usually even Ken did not understand what he was talking about. The main goal of Ken was to organize a big festival where he would show his own movie. Often Ken organized some little rebellions (like skipping classes) which he called a resistance against established order. All of his friends believed in his dream of changing society and rules but in truth the result of all this should have been Ken’s girl of his dreams – Lady Jane.

At the first glance the novel “69” looks like a life story of a wild seventeen year old teenager. Well, this book is about it but while reading you realize that all people that same age all over the world wanted one and the same thing – so that adults understand that they have a voice and at the same time do it in a fun and amusing way.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU