Presales of the Chinese version of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami's new book "Kishidancho Goroshi", or "Killing Commendatore" have begun in China, with 700,000 copies printed.
The book has attracted widespread attention in China for acknowledging the Nanjing Massacre, and is expected to be released on March 10, according to Huang Yuning, director of the literary editing room of Shanghai Translation Publishing House, the Chinese publisher of the book.
The novel, released in Japan last year, is Murakami's first multi-volume offering in seven years and has instantly become a best-seller.
Part of the novel is about a painter and his neighbor exploring the riddles surrounding a painting titled "Killing Commendatore" which was stored in his attic.
When talking about the life of the painter, the neighbor mentions a number of things that happened around 1937 and 1938, which were "fatal" to Japan, and life-changing to the artist and his family, including the full-scale commencement of Japan's invasive war against China and the Nanjing Massacre.
The novel has drawn criticism from ultra-right wing factions in Japan, who deny the massacre ever happened.