Author Haruki Murakami's new novel will hit book stores in April, three years after the final instalment of "1Q84", his Japanese publisher has said.
Publishing house Bungeishunju Ltd posted a small advert in newspapers on Saturday, which said only: "Haruki Murakami: Long awaited novel to arrive in April."
"This project is coming on as a top secret," a company spokesman told AFP on Tuesday. "The advert has all we can say for now."
He confirmed only that the novel would be in Japanese. No information was available about any possible future translations.
Murakami's three-volume novel "1Q84", which can be read as "1984" in Japanese, proved a worldwide phenomenon.
The publisher, Shinchosha Publishing Co., and Murakami -- who rarely gives media interviews -- kept a veil over "1Q84" before the first volume hit stores in 2009, after many readers asked not be told about the plot in advance.
Unlike in English-language publishing, Japanese authors are rarely tied to a specific publishing house over different books.
Murakami's novels, which have drawn international acclaim and been translated into almost 40 languages, include the titles "Norwegian Wood", "Kafka on the Shore" and "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle".
The author, who divides his time between the US and Japan, has a huge following, with fans praising his lyrical and surreal prose, which often takes as its subject Japanese people living on the margins of a homogenous society.