H by Doug Howatt
Hajime to Hamlet
Hamlet, we all know: anguished and indecisive prince, “to be or not to be”, “Alas, poor Yorick!”, uncle murders father, Hamlet plots revenge and (spoiler) they all die in the end. You might not know Hajime. The main character of Murakami’s South of the Border, West of the Sun - he had a lonely childhood with just one friend, a girl named Shimamoto. Decades later, she appeared at his jazz bar and Hajime soon ran off with her only to have her disappear mysteriously. Was she ever real? After reflection, Hajime returned to his senses and found fulfillment in his life.