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Haruki Murakami donates record collection to Tokyo University

Haruki Murakami, one of Japan’s most popular contemporary writers, is to donate manuscripts, books and letters, as well as a vast collection of vinyl records, to a University. 

Haruki Murakami appeared at a press conference on Sunday, November 4th, his first appearance at a news conference in Japan for 37 years. The author has been a somewhat elusive figure throughout his career, but recently surprised fans by hosting a radio show, during which he showcased a number of his favourite artists and songs.

Music has always been a strong theme within Murakami’s work. Songs become anchors for pivotal plot points whilst, in other instances, intricate musical structures are echoed by narrative ones.

The author’s record collection is the stuff of legend. An interactive tour can be taken on his official website, which shows its gargantuan nature, with floor to ceiling shelves of vinyl being complemented by a state of the art stereo system.

The Waseda University, Tokyo will receive the full vinyl collection, as well as the author’s archive of written material and personal belongings. In a report from Japan Times, Murakami, 69, stated; “is a very important thing for me, so I thought I should explain clearly.”

“After nearly 40 years of writing, there is hardly any space to put the documents such as manuscripts and related articles, whether at my home or at my office.” – Murakami

Haruki Murakami a
An archival picture shows Murakami in front of his impressive vinyl collection, which is said to contain over 10,000 titles.

Also included in the proposed donation are the manuscripts of famous novels, including Kafka on the Shore, Norwegian Wood and Dance Dance Dance.

“I don’t have any children, and it would cause trouble for me if those materials became scattered or lost.” – Murakami

Additionally, Murakami said that he would like to try and arrange a concert, using the records from his collection, most of which are jazz. Before he became a full time writer, Murakami ran a jazz club until the age of 30.

Murakami (right) poses for photographers with Kaoru Kamata, president of Waseda University, during a news conference in Tokyo on Sunday. | AP

‘In 2016, he published Absolutely On Music, a collection of conversations with former Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor Seiji Ozawa.’ (Pitchfork)

Murakami has won several literary prizes, including the Franz Kafka Prize in 2006, the Jerusalem Prize in 2009 and the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award for 2016.

Colin J McCracken
Colin J McCracken

Director and Executive Editor

Colin J McCracken is an Irish editor and writer of both fiction and journalism. Coming from a background in education and film, his passions are split between the environmental and the entertaining. Constantly striving for a more sustainable existence and trying to balance it while simultaneously buying too many books.