Murakami in 2022December 31, 2022
Here is a list of topics on Haruki Murakami in 2022.
Murakami Radio is On
This year, Murakami Radio, the radio show hosted by Murakami, continued to be broadcast with a total of 14 on air.
‘Murakami Radio Special Edition: Music to Stop the War’, broadcasted on 18 March, a month after Russia invaded Ukraine, won the ‘2022 Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association Award for Radio – Semi-Grand Prix Award’ on November 8.
The broadcast ‘From the Makoto Wada Record Collection’ on 24 April was held at the Haruki Murakami Library. Makoto Wada is a famed illustrator and a close friend of Murakami, who passed away in 2019. From the thousands of LPs Wada left behind, Murakami selected 365 records, and Wada’s wife donated them to the library. On the radio show, Murakami played 11 songs from those LPs.
The Last Tycoon
On 7 April, Scott Fitzgerald’s Last Tycoon, translated by Haruki Murakami, was released in Japan. The cover features an illustration by Murakami’s close friend Makoto Wada, who passed away in 2019. It was the last novel Fitzgerald had written until the day before his death and was published unfinished.
In a recent interview with Yoko Ogawa, Murakami said that when people asked him, “Why does your novel end that way and not continue?” he replied, “It is post-modern”. However, this Fitzgerald novel ends for a different reason.
The Second Jazz Attack at Waseda University
On 12 July, Haruki Murakami hosted a jazz concert at Waseda University, from which he graduated. It was a reprising of the gig during student riots in July 1969.
As depicted in Norwegian Wood, 1969 was the era of the student movement, and the students of the time were obsessed with destructive impulses. However, these students did not disrupt the live but listened to the free jazz live performances of the Yosuke Yamashita Trio, which broke the existing rules of jazz amid this chaos.
The jazz concert was followed by a talk show, where Murakami said. “Fifty-three years ago, the idealism of making the world a better place globally spread, and the power of music helped it. Yamashita’s play was a part of that.
Commercially, Tokyo FM, which broadcasts the Murakami Radio Show, organised the radio broadcast and streamed the video online as befits the year 2022.
The student strike started at the end of May. “Dismantle the university,” they all screamed. Go ahead, do it, I thought. Dismantle it. Tear it apart. Crush it to bits. I don’t give a damn. A breath of fresh air for me. I’m ready for anything. I’ll help if you need it. Just go ahead and do it.Norwegian Wood, Ch.3
Special Exhibition at Waseda
From 1 October 2022 to 22 January 2023, the special exhibition ‘Murakami Haruki: Journey into Movies’ is held at Waseda University’s Theatre Museum.
This exhibition features materials relating to the films that affected Murakami, appeared in his essays and novels, and adapted from his novels as well as the scenarios that he read when he was a student. Murakami has written a special essay for the catalogue.
His Portrait in the book
On 18 October 2022, Laura Wilson published a book, “The Writers: Portraits”, which includes photographs of 38 authors from around the world, including Haruki Murakami,
According to Murakami’s recent interview, he went to Hawaii in February this year for the first time after the pandemic. He stayed there for three-four weeks (and listened to the news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine). That time, Laura Wilson came from NY to take a photo of Murakami.
Until December 30, 2022, her work was on display at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
New Makoto Shinkai animation inspired by Murakami
On 7 November, Makoto Shinkai’s new anime Suzume (Suzume no Tojimari) was released in Japan. In the interview, Shinkai mentioned Kafka on the Shore and Super-Frog Saves Tokyo as sources of inspiration for this anime. In particular, Super-Frog Saves Tokyo inspired him a lot, and a worm appears as a symbol of the earthquake in his anime.
New Essay Book released
On 15 December 2022, a new Murakami book, ‘More, My Good Old Classical Records’ was published in Japan. It is an essay book on his classical music record collection and a sequel to “My Good Old Classical Records,” published last year.
Invited to Wellesley College
Murakami has been invited to stay at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, USA, from January to May 2023. During his stay, Murakami may give lectures and seminars at the college.
May the next year be filled with peace all over the world.