First appearance: Ghostwritten
Satoru is a Japanese teenager who appears as the point-of-view character in Tokyo, the second chapter of David Mitchell’s debut novel, Ghostwritten.
An orphan, Satoru is raised by Mama San, the den mother of a Tokyo brothel, and Taro, the brothel’s intimidating “bouncer.” Instead of attending college, Satoru works in a jazz disc collector’s shop owned by his friend Takeshi. Despite the offer of a “humble position” in the Japanese publishing industry by a jovial customer, Satoru elects to remain at Takeshi’s jazz shop, considering it his place of refuge in the teeming city.
Satoru’s life changes when he meets Tomoyo, a half-Japanese, half-Chinese girl who wanders into the jazz collector’s shop one day with her cousins. The blossoming relationship between Satoru and Tomoyo moves the chapter forward in one of Ghostwritten’s most optimistic and human chapters.
Satoru and his girlfriend briefly meet third-chapter protagonist Neal Brose at a fast food restaurant in Hong Kong. Brose is connected to London narrator Marco via his ex-wife, Katie Forbes, and a young version of Brose is a classmate of Black Swan Green’s protagonist.