Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage marks a new direction in Murakami's fiction: a return to the lyrical realism not seen since his 1987 novel Norwegian Wood , but set against the social realities of contemporary Japan.
      Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage centers on a devastating emotional betrayal and its consequences. Tsukuru Tazaki belongs to a tight-knit group of five friends in high school--three boys and two girls who form a perfect circle they imagine will stay together forever. But when Tsukuru returns home from college in Tokyo, he finds himself inexplicably rebuffed by the group. Something has changed, but nobody, not even his closest friends, will tell him what.
     Years later, Tsukuru, now a successful engineer, begins dating an older woman named Sara and confesses to her the shadow this betrayal has cast over his life. Sara urges Tsukuru to try to find his old group and to try to solve the mystery that has haunted him all these years: why did they suddenly turn on him?
     On a quest to discover the truth, Tsukuru travels back to meet his old friends--with the exception of Shiro, the group's most volatile and psychologically unstable member, who he learns was strangled to death in an unsolved murder six years ago. As the dark truth about Shiro reveals itself, Tsukuru must confront the simmering emotional undercurrents that the group had suppressed in order to reach their ideal of perfect friendship.
     Can love overcome isolation? Is it possible to truly reach another person? Can buried emotions ever really stay buried? And will confronting the past allow Tsukuru to finally open himself up to the future?
Publisher: Toronto :, Doubleday Canada,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780385681834
Branch Call Number: FIC MUR
Characteristics: 386 pages : illustrations (some colour) ; 19 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 26, 2020

Another Murakami book! I could copy and paste my Killing Commendatore comments here, because they're the same! If you like Murakami, you'll like this book. If you don't, it won't change your mind. If you haven't read him before, this is a nice, palatable, comfortably-long, introduction to his style of prose and storytelling. This is a book I would recommend mostly to that crowd- people who haven't read a Murakami novel before. I really enjoyed it, and if you do, too, it will introduce you to about a bajillion books that are very similar. If you don't like it, it can help you cross about a bajillion books that are very similar off your to-read list.

Mar 04, 2020

A really fantastic read. Truly felt like I got to know Tsukuru Tazaki and his feelings. Whether you can directly relate or not, I think that Tsukuru's struggle with his identity and the complexity of his character were definitely well executed in writing by Murakami. I felt a great sense of closure and satisfaction after finishing this book and, although much is left unfinished, I think the feeling of being unfinished, the feeling of wanting to know more about his other relationships, really completed the book and created this grander sense of reality for me.

Feb 15, 2020

Really good book. Loved reading it. Story of lost friendships and new found hope for love. Short book compared to some of his other novels!

WCL_Kiirstin Jan 27, 2020

An extremely relatable, sympathetic main character trying to unravel the reasons and the aftermath of a betrayal he experienced as a young man makes this book worth reading. Murakami explores connection, memory, how we move forward, and the ways in which we are shaped by our experiences - and the way we shape ourselves - through Tsukuru's journey.

Aug 24, 2019

This book gives an accurate insight to an ordinary or "colorless" person through the struggle of Tsukuru Tazaki. The doubts, especially with the fear of confronting his friends' abandonment, serve as building blocks for the character's self-discovery. The pace was calm and appropriate, allowing the readers to sit back and think about some of the proposed questions. Personally, Tsukuru is the character that resonates the most with me in literature because I identify myself with a lot of the problems he encounter - loss of connection, depression, identity crisis, and the desire to love someone while keeping a distance.

Aug 09, 2019

Sixteen years ago, Tsukuru Tazaki’s life almost came to an end when his four greatest friends cut him off completely without explanation. Ao, Aka, Shiro, Kuro, and Tsukuru had been the best of friends in high school, and even though Tsukuru had drifted away from them somewhat when he moved away for university, they were still very close. However, one day, out of the blue, they stopped speaking to him. Now, years later, Sara, the first woman he has ever truly loved, encourages him to look back into his past and try to understand the complex emotional tangle that separation left him with. She gets him in touch with his old friends, and he must go to see them, to understand and work past what happened those many years ago.
For me, Haruki Murakami’s style of writing is something that feels good to read. I’d almost describe it as refreshing, like drinking cold water when you had been thirsty without realizing it. I’m engaged in reading all of his novels, and this one didn’t disappoint. Although it was nearly 400 pages, it was a smooth read, and I finished it quickly. Even though I had some unanswered questions (what happened to Haida?) at the end, I was still left with a calm settled feeling. The main character, Tsukuru, is a different person from me in many ways, but I completely understood what he was feeling, and Murakami has a tendency to, all of the sudden, say clever and yet subtle things that do a great job of encapsulating ideas I share. He’s an exceptional writer and it’s not hard to understand how he’s world famous and has won many awards. I’d definitely recommend him as an author, and this book as well.

Jul 17, 2019

One of the single best novels I've read in recent years that chronicles the heartbreak of friendships. Murakami explores the mind and soul in the aftermath of feeling one's world and relationships crumble to pieces. Extremely thought-provoking, but do not expect this novel to have a traditional resolution.

Jun 18, 2019

Fantastic novel about friendship, love, trauma, and healing. I would recommend to anyone on the hunt for a compelling piece of fiction by one of our greatest writers.

I can't think of a contemporay fiction writer writing better about the distortions of complex trauma and its fallout. Murakami's existential hero Tsukuro Tazaki's comment: "I've always seen myself as an empty person, lacking color and identity," gells perfectly with the character of those individuals dealing with unresolved complex trauma. A brilliant novel, flawless. R.F.M.A.

Jan 06, 2019

Not impressed with the writing, characters, story or theme. A young adult novel, perhaps.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Sep 14, 2015

People do change. And no matter how close we once were, and how much we opened up to each other, maybe neither of us knew anything substantial about the other.

Jun 25, 2015

As we go through life we gradually discover who we are, but the more we discover, the more we lose ourselves.

Jun 25, 2015

Still, being able to feel pain was good, he thought. It's when you can't even feel anymore pain that you're in real trouble.

Jan 03, 2015

And naturally Tsukuru was happy, and proud, to be included as one indispensable side of the pentagon. He loved his four friends, loved the sense of belonging he felt when he was with them. Like a young tree absorbing nutrition from the soil, Tsukuru got the sustenance he needed as an adolescent from this group, using it as necessary food to grow, storing what was left as an emergency heat source inside him. Still, he had a constant, nagging fear that someday he would fall away from this intimate community, or be forced out and left on his own. Anxiety raised its head, like a jagged, ominous rock exposed by the receding tide, the fear that he would be separated from the group and end up entirely alone.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VIRL

To Top