At a recent symposium focusing on Haruki Murakami, participants discussed how his works are received in East Asian nations and how he touches on East Asia's modern history in his novels.
In South Korea, which for many years after World War II had a military-controlled government, literature traditionally functioned as the "discharge channel of politics." Because of the situation, it was difficult for Japanese literature focusing on personal psychology or daily life to win wide support in the country. This was the case even for works by Yasunari Kawabata and Yukio Mishima.
But the Korean translation of Murakami's Norwegian Wood, which was published in 1989 with a title meaning "The Age of Deprivation," was a hit.