‘Superfrog Saves Tokyo’ by Haruki Murakami, translated by Jay Rubin

In ‘Superfrog Saves Tokyo’, Katagiri, assistant manager at the Tokyo Security Trust Bank, is summoned underground by a six-foot frog. Superfrog is in mortal combat with a giant worm, which threatens to cause an earthquake that will destroy Tokyo, and now requires the unwilling Katagiri’s assistance. This collection is centred on the 1995 Kobe earthquake and the story contains classic Murakami themes: katabasis (a journey to the underworld), urban loneliness, and the imagination as a battlefield where we experience victory and defeat. If you’re interested in translated fiction, do also watch the delightful documentary, Dreaming Murakami, in which Superfrog makes a cameo appearance.

First published in GQ in 2001, and available to read here; collected in after the quake, 2002, Harvill Press

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