The relationship between popular culture and East Asian identity is now an established field of enquiry, with the products of Japan's mass media industries—television series, pop stars, and manga—still providing much of the fuel for debate. This paper, however, moves away from the dominant notion of “culture as industry,” and explores animated personal responses to the fiction of Japanese writer Murakami Haruki in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan through art house cinema, popular fiction, and online creative communities. The vogue for Murakami has swept across the region in recent years, and for many of those inspired by his work, it is Murakami's role as a conduit to cosmopolitan cultural citizenship that is so alluring. Yet rather than crude imitation, the filmmakers, writers, and Internet fans analyzed here misappropriate the “Murakami mood” in different ways, and in the process, they reveal the diverse meanings that attach to cosmopolitanism across contemporary East Asia.

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