I recently read the novel Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami which features a horror/fantasy element in the form of recurrent dream sequences involving an man who is half sheep and offers the protagonist of the story clues to unravelling a mystery. The story takes place in the Dolphin Hotel in Sapporo. I am curious to know if Stephen King was inspired by or pays homage to this novel with his short story 1408 which is set in a hotel called "The Dolphin Hotel" in New York. Dance Dance Dance was published in the late 1980's and translated into english in the mid 90's. As far as I am aware 1408 appeared in around 2000. Does anyone know if King deliberately references Murakami or is it simply a coincidence? Thank you.

  • I doubt it. Are you basing this solely on the hotels' names? As far as I remember there's nothing about a half sheep in 1408, so I assume you just mentioned that information as a non sequitur.
    – tobiasvl
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 19:21
  • 1
    It's the combination of the name, the setting and supernatural events happening in that setting. If it simply coincidence... well these things happen but I am curious.
    – skyjack
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 0:11

1 Answer 1


There seems to be no link between the two. According to this answer on Quora, the hotel in 1408 is based on the Hotel del Coronado in California. According to this site, the hotel in Dance Dance Dance does not actually exist, although there are a few in the area that may be similar. Disclaimer: I've not read either story.

Update: I did find a blog post that claims:

...the hotel’s name is Hotel Dolphin. It’s supposedly a nod to Murakami’s work which King is supposedly a fan of.

but the site does not provide a source for that claim. A movie review site also says:

...the Dolphin Hotel (stolen from Haruki Murakami's Dance Dance Dance and transported from Tokyo to New York)

but again, provides no source for the claim.

  • 1
    I think we can chalk this up to coincidence then! thanks!
    – skyjack
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 4:46

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