Haruki Murakami's latest novel, "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage," has been a phenomenal success for the nation's lackluster publishing market, selling more than 1 million copies in just the first seven days after its April 12 release.

One key element was a marketing tactic that kept information about the book secret. This created a huge sense of anticipation among potential readers three years after Murakami's previous novel.

Some observers also say the book's theme overlaps with the sense of loss that permeated Japan in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.