47 Facts About Haruki Murakami


Haruki Murakami has received numerous awards for his work, including the Gunzo Prize for New Writers, the World Fantasy Award, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, and the Jerusalem Prize.


Murakami has published five short story collections, including his most recently published work, First Person Singular, and non-fiction works including Underground, inspired by personal interviews Murakami conducted with victims of the Tokyo subway sarin attack, and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, a series of personal essays about his experience as a marathon runner.


Haruki Murakami's fiction has polarized literary critics and the reading public.


Haruki Murakami has sometimes been criticised by Japan's literary establishment as un-Japanese, leading to Murakami's recalling that he was a "black sheep in the Japanese literary world".


Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto, Japan, during the post-World War II baby boom and raised in Nishinomiya, Ashiya and Kobe.


Haruki Murakami's father was the son of a Buddhist priest, and his mother is the daughter of an Osaka merchant.


Haruki Murakami's father was involved in the Second Sino-Japanese War, and was deeply traumatized by it, which would, in turn, affect Murakami.


Haruki Murakami grew up reading a wide range of works by European and American writers, such as Franz Kafka, Gustave Flaubert, Charles Dickens, Kurt Vonnegut, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Richard Brautigan and Jack Kerouac.


Haruki Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met Yoko, now his wife.


Shortly before finishing his studies, Haruki Murakami opened a coffee house and jazz bar, Peter Cat, in Kokubunji, Tokyo, which he ran with his wife, from 1974 to 1981.


Haruki Murakami is an experienced marathon runner and triathlon enthusiast, though he did not start running until he was 33 years old, after he began as a way to stay healthy despite the hours spent at his desk writing.


Haruki Murakami discusses his relationship with running in his 2007 memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.


Haruki Murakami described the moment he realized he could write as a "warm sensation" he could still feel in his heart.


Haruki Murakami worked on Hear the Wind Sing for ten months in very brief stretches, during nights, after working days at the bar.


Haruki Murakami completed the novel and sent it to the only literary contest that would accept a work of that length, winning first prize.


Haruki Murakami considers his first two novels to be "immature" and "flimsy", and has not been eager to have them translated into English.


In 1985, Haruki Murakami wrote Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, a dream-like fantasy that took the magical elements of his work to a new extreme.


Haruki Murakami was mobbed at airports and other public places, leading to his departure from Japan in 1986.


Haruki Murakami traveled through Europe, lived in the United States and currently resides in Oiso, Kanagawa, with an office in Tokyo.


Haruki Murakami was a writing fellow at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


The processing of collective trauma soon became an important theme in Haruki Murakami's writing, which had previously been more personal in nature.


Haruki Murakami returned to Japan in the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake and the Aum Shinrikyo gas attack.


Haruki Murakami came to terms with these events with his first work of non-fiction, Underground, and the short story collection after the quake.


In 1996, in a conversation with the psychologist Hayao Kawai, Haruki Murakami explained that he changed his position from one of "detachment" to one of "commitment" after staying in the United States in the 1990s.


Haruki Murakami called The Wind-up Bird Chronicle a turning point in his career, marking this change in focus.


Haruki Murakami took an active role in translation of his work into English, encouraging "adaptations" of his texts to American reality rather than direct translation.


In 2002, Haruki Murakami published the anthology Birthday Stories, which collects short stories on the theme of birthdays.


However, after the 2012 anti-Japanese demonstrations in China, Haruki Murakami's books were removed from sale there, along with those of other Japanese authors.


In spite of the story's sober tone, Haruki Murakami feels the reader should be entertained once the seriousness of a subject has been broached.


Haruki Murakami explains that his characters experience what he experiences as he writes, which could be compared to a movie set where the walls and props are all fake.


Haruki Murakami was awarded the 2007 Kiriyama Prize for Fiction for his collection of short stories Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, but according to the prize's official website, Haruki Murakami "declined to accept the award for reasons of personal principle".


In 2006, Haruki Murakami became the sixth recipient of the Franz Kafka Prize.


In January 2009, Haruki Murakami received the Jerusalem Prize, a biennial literary award given to writers whose work deals with themes of human freedom, society, politics, and government.


Haruki Murakami chose to attend the ceremony, but gave a speech to the gathered Israeli dignitaries harshly criticizing Israeli policies.


In recent years, Haruki Murakami has often been mentioned as a possible recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Haruki Murakami has received honorary degrees from the University of Liege, Princeton University, Tufts University, and Yale University.


In 2018 Waseda University in Tokyo agreed to house the archives of Haruki Murakami, including his manuscripts, source documents, and music collection.


Haruki Murakami's work was adapted for the stage in a 2003 play entitled The Elephant Vanishes, co-produced by Britain's Complicite company and Japan's Setagaya Public Theatre.


Haruki Murakami enjoys baseball and describes himself as a fan of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.


Haruki Murakami has a passion for listening to music, especially classical and jazz.


Haruki Murakami later opened the Peter Cat, a coffeehouse and jazz bar.


Haruki Murakami has said that music, like writing, is a mental journey.


Haruki Murakami stated that it is natural for China and Koreas to continue to feel resentment towards Japan for its wartime aggressions.


In January 2015, Haruki Murakami expressed support for same-sex marriage, which is not recognised in Japan, when responding to a reader's question about his stance on the issue.


In 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which was part of the larger Russian-Ukrainian war, Haruki Murakami called for peace.


Haruki Murakami prepared a special radio program calling for peace.


Haruki Murakami featured there around ten musical pieces that encourage to end the war and "focus on the preciousness of life".