I said to a kid in English today, after he made fun of my Japanese, "When I rule the world, people like you will be in charge of taking big rocks and making them small."
So here's why "Norwegian Wood" really struck a chord: it's all about loving someone with the belief they will get better, that things will work out, when, of course, they never will. Because you read this story and you start to think the way the narrator does, that waiting for his love to become who he thinks she should be is okay. And that it will work out. And when the girl ends up not being who he wanted her to be and he begins to see that he just lied to himself, all he can do is pack his rucksack and go to Kyoto and run and run because he'd come to believe his own lie so well.
We are all in Japan for different reasons.