Synchronicity and Japanese Surrealism



I’ve been finding it everywhere, lately.


Two Facebook friends who don’t know each other post updates about the weather using the numbers 17 and 19. The posts refer to two very different cities. The posts appear adjacent to each other in my news feed.


While reading Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, I note the line, “Something wicked this way comes.” Minutes later, I read a blog post by a good friend, where she has referenced the exact same line.


Also while reading 1Q84, I realize something interesting about two of the main characters’ names:

Eriko Fukada
Tengo Kawana

My name is Eiko Kawano. If Eriko took Tengo’s last name, she’d be Eriko Kawana.

Eiko Kawano
Eriko Kawana

One letter is extraneous, and one is different: R and A.

A key theme in the book is mothers and daughters.

My daughter’s initials are R. A.


Today I was thinking of getting one of those devices that count the number of steps in a day. This evening, I checked the same friend’s blog, where today she’d posted about getting one of those devices.

What does it meannnn? Are she and I in a parallel universe?* Should I go see how many moons are in the sky?

PS: If you haven’t read 1Q84, I highly recommend it. Sure, the prose has been criticized for being a bit boring and repetitious at times, but there’s something about surrealist Japanese fiction in translation that’s awesome. And clearly, the reading of it has transported me to another universe. So far it’s pretty fun.

PPS: The Artist’s Way talks a lot about synchronicity, how when you stop to look, there are coincidences everywhere. I do find that I “see” much more during times of heightened creativity. I guess it also means TURN OFF THE INTERNET EIKO AND WORK ON YOUR NOVEL.

*No really, are we? You’d tell me, right?


This morning, the same friend who posted about the weather in coincidence #1 just posted this:


(Okay, it’s possible she read my blog, and it made her think of Murakami and thereby inspired her post. But I didn’t share this post on FB and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know this blog exists.)