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Published on Nov 23, 2011

Haruki Murakami (村上 春樹, Murakami Haruki?, born January 12, 1949) is a Japanese writer and translator.[1] His works of fiction and non-fiction have garnered him critical acclaim and numerous awards.

He is considered an important figure in postmodern literature. The Guardian praised him as "among the world's greatest living novelists" for his works and achievements.[2]

Murakami was born in Japan during the post--World War II baby boom.[3] Although born in Kyoto, he spent his youth in Shukugawa (Nishinomiya), Ashiya and Kobe.[4][5] His father was the son of a Buddhist priest,[6] and his mother the daughter of an Osaka merchant.[7] Both taught Japanese literature.[8]

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by American writers, such as Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan, and he is often distinguished from other Japanese writers by his Western influences.[9]

Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko. His first job was at a record store, which is where one of his main characters, Toru Watanabe in Norwegian Wood, works. Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened the coffeehouse (jazz bar, in the evening) "Peter Cat" in Kokubunji, Tokyo with his wife[10] (1974-1981).[11]

Many of his novels have themes and titles that invoke classical music, such as the three books making up The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: The Thieving Magpie (after Rossini's opera), Bird as Prophet (after a piano piece by Robert Schumann usually known in English as The Prophet Bird), and The Bird-Catcher (a character in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute). Some of his novels take their titles from songs: Dance, Dance, Dance (after The Dells' song, although it is widely thought it was titled after the Beach Boys tune), Norwegian Wood (after The Beatles' song) and South of the Border, West of the Sun (the first part being the title of a song by Nat King Cole).[12]His most recent novel, 1Q84, honors writer icon George Orwell.

Murakami is a keen marathon runner and triathlete, although he did not start running until he was 33 years old. On June 23, 1996, he completed his first ultramarathon, a 100-kilometer race around Lake Saroma in Hokkaido, Japan.[13] He discusses his relationship with running in his 2008 work What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.[14]

Comments • 219

the audio mixing for this is quite jarring :x otherwise, murakami is a light in the dreary landscape of much of modern fiction. i wish i could read his novels in japanese, i'm sure there are a lot of subtleties i'm missing by reading his work in english.
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jvaa cvaa
turning Japanese I think im turning Japanese I really think so
John Doe
High-brow circle jerking with two old farts with very little to say that belongs to themselves. I recommend just reading a book or watching something else, this video is enough to turn even MORE younger people off of books. It's this 'mmm yes.. quite' monocle-adjusting  pseudo intellect that killed the interest in literature. It's just a fucking book, just a fucking writer.. great book, great writer, but going on about it and trivialising every single facet of it all.. jesus, it's cringe worthy, why are we so quick to put people on pedestals like that. Just enjoy the books and don't bother with this idolisation of someone that wants to be left the fuck alone. 
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I've seen this documentary three times over the course of three days. It's just fantastic.
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Henry Riley
Murakami seems to be trying to make a connection with all peoples and cultures using our basic sense of being alive with conscious awareness and creativity.
Bernie SteelMonkey
When is this writer going to get a Nobel Prize? He doesn't care...but i do. 1?84 and Wind Up Bird alone deserve this honor...not to mention the rest of his incomparable works.
Alan Falleur
Murakami's statements on religion remind me of something William Blake wrote in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: "Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales. And at length they pronounced that the Gods had ordered such things. Thus men forgot that all deities reside in the human breast."
One of my favorite authors of all time.
I keep having to re-buy his books because somehow I always give them away to friends, trying to get them into Murakami. :)
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Charmian O'Brien
I've only recently discovered this remarkable writer. I've also discovered a narrator of some of his books, Rupert Degas. He's one of the best. Just do a search online. I'm very very happy about this collaboration!
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