From the Fatherland with Love

Ryu Murakami

An ambitious, epic dystopian novel - part political thriller and part satire.

From the Fatherland, with Love is set in an alternative, dystopian present in which the dollar has collapsed and Japan's economy has fallen along with it. The North Korean government, sensing an opportunity, sends a fleet of rebels in the first land invasion that Japan has ever faced. Japan can't cope with the surprise onslaught of Operation From the Fatherland, with Love . But the terrorist Ishihara and his band of renegade youths - once dedicated to upsetting the Japanese government - turn their deadly attention to the North Korean threat. They will not allow Fukuoka to fall without a fight. Epic in scale, From the Fatherland, with Love is laced throughout with Murakami's characteristically savage violence. It's both a satisfying thriller and a completely mad, over-the-top novel like few others.

Translated by Ralph McCarthy, Charles De Wolf and Ginny Tapley Takemori, and published by Pushkin Press

'A troubled meditation on the soul of modern Japan... Alarmingly pertinent in light of current British politics... A morbidly funny comedy... Above all, it is a phenomenal feat of storytelling 700 pages, dozens of characters and scores of ideas woven into one gripping whole.' Andrzej Lukowski, Metro

'This is a novel by the other Murakami. Not Haruki... If Haruki is The Beatles of Japanese literature, Ryu is its Rolling Stones... [From the Fatherland, with Love] has a Tolstoyan cast of characters, from crack North Korean commandos and hapless Japanese bureaucrats to a gang of hoodlums who eventually decide to save Japan. It unfolds with the pace of a thriller...'

David Pilling, Financial TImes

'Massively ambitious and uncompromising... prescient in unexpected ways'

Joanne Hayden, Sunday Business Post

''[Mixes] the thrills of a spy novel with some national soul-searching'

Lionel Barber, Financial Times, Summer Books

'Definitely edgier and darker than Haruki [Ryu Murakami] has a worldwide following and is regarded by many as one of the most thrilling writers of contemporary Japanese fiction... [He] offers a thrilling insight - with a geopolitical panoramic view - into national character, human relationships, chaos and disorder' - Tatevik Sargsyan, Hunger Magazine

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 and In the Miso Soup. Murakami is also a screenwriter and a director; his films include Tokyo Decadence, Audition and Because of You.

Translated by Charles De Wolf / Ralph McCarthy / Ginny Tapley Takemori
Cover illustration by David Pearson
672 pp
Published 09/05/2013
ISBN 9781908968456


From the Fatherland with Love

More on this book

‘An interview with the Man Himself’

Medium interviews Ryu Murakami: behind the scenes of From the Fatherland, with Love

‘Effortlessly gripping and well paced… highly recommended’ by the Bookbag

‘more relevant than ever in today’s society of economic desperation and riled-up revolutionaries’

A Dark Satiric Lens on Japanese Society

Ryu Murakami talks to Reuters

“This was taken on his first birthday,” she said. “A year later he died of starvation.”

Ryu Murakami on interviewing refugees from North Korea

A lot in Japanese society that Ryu Murakami is not particularly enamoured with…

South China Morning Post on From the Fatherland, with Love

Bloggers love Murakami

Read the reviews from the blogging community on From the Fatherland, with Love

Extract from Ryu Murakami’s From the Fatherland, with Love

We ought to be occupying this hotel rather than the baseball stadium. Kim Hak Su was in his room, adjusting the sheath of his combat knife, when the thought occurred to him. They had been prepared for a skirmish with the Coast Guard or the Self-Defense Force, but except for the two farmers they’d been obliged […]

Murakami’s Fatherland Takes the Metro by Storm!

Ryu Murakami’s North-Korean invasion epic has arrived on British shores, to great acclaim in the Metro. Andrzej Lukowski calls it “a troubled meditation on the soul of modern Japan” and says it’s “as brilliant a novel about the credit crunch as has so far been written”. It’s a “morbidly funny comedy”, he writes, before his final […]

The Dark Future of Japan

Ryu Murakami on the adolescent misfits characters of From the Fatherland, with Love and how Japan would react to an invasion by North Korea. Read the whole interview with VICE.

Ryu Murakami’s Sixty-Nine

‘Godfather to the dark heart of Japanese fiction’, Guardian

Coming in May 2013 – ‘Godfather to the dark heart of modern Japanese fiction’

An epic addition to the Pushkin List, Ryu Murakami’s incendiary new novel


Popular Hits of the Showa Era
Coin Locker Babies
From the Fatherland with Love