"Many Japanese think their language is so unique that foreigners cannot grip its essence, its beauty or its subtlety. And if some foreigner claims that he has grasped that essence, nobody believes him. One reason they think that way is because Japan is a very homogeneous country that has not been occupied by other countries except for a brief period after World War II. Its culture was not threatened by other cultures. So the Japanese language has been isolated. It has been isolated for maybe 2,000 years. That’s why Japanese are so certain about its uniqueness, its nature, its structure, its function. I think what some young Japanese writers are doing is trying to break, to destroy, that stubbornness, to rebel against that certainty."
Haruki Murakami (via murakamistuff)