• Words themselves aren't that important. Even if somebody says words that shock you, or make you want to kill them, or make you tremble with emotion, the words themselves you tend to forget in time. Words are just tools we use to express or communicate something

    Ryū Murakami
  • This was a factory, a sorting house. We were no different from dogs and pigs and cows: all of us were allowed to play when we were small, but then, just before reaching maturity, we were sorted and classified. Being a high school student was the first step toward becoming a domestic animal

    Ryū Murakami
  • You don't know what cold is until you've experienced the cold you feel when the blood is draining out of your body

    Ryū Murakami
  • That’s what violence was: emotion leaking out from consciousness into the physical world, linking up with the muscles of the arms and shoulders and diaphragm and, inevitably, the face. Stifle emotion during an act of violence and the face becomes a blank, unreadable mask

    Ryū Murakami
  • There were little girls who would snuggle up to any grown man and try to guide his hand inside their underwear, and there were kids who compulsively bit their own arms. Kids who would suddenly start twitching and banging their heads against a wall, not even stopping when the blood ran down their faces. Kids who waddled around oblivious to the stinking load in their own pants. Watching children like this, it was all too easy to see why their parents beat them. It was only natural to hate such kids, to ignore them and shower only your other children with love. Who wouldn't? But of course that wasn't the way it really worked. Such behaviors weren't the reasons parents abused children, but the results of abuse. Children are powerless. No matter how viciously they're beaten, children were powerless to do anything about it. Even if Mother hit them with a shoehorn or the hose of a vacuum cleaner or the handle of a kitchen knife, or strangled them or poured boiling water on them, they couldn't escape her; they couldn't even truly despise her. Children would struggle desperately to feel love for their parents. Rather than hate a parent, in fact, they'd choose to hate themselves. Love and violence became so intertwined for them that when they grew up and got into relationships, only hysteria could set their hearts at ease. Kindness, gentleness - anything along those lines just caused tension, since there was no telling when it would turn to overt hostility

    Ryū Murakami
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