Tokyo’s Waseda University to Open the Haruki Murakami Library Next Year

By December 3, 2020Libraries, News

With novels such as Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the Shore, and IQ84, Japanese author Haruki Murakami has become one of Japan’s most successful authors and has managed to become a household name even in the West, so it seems well deserved that such an accomplished author is having a new library dedicated to him next year in 2021.

 

As TimeOut reports, Waseda University in Tokyo announced last year that it would be building a new library on its campus. Designed by the acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, The Waseda International House of Literature, better known as the Murakami Library, will host the writer’s personal archive, which he donated to the university along with a collection of his bibliography translated into other languages. Murakami is an alumnus of Waseda University, though he studied drama, not literature during his time there. He wrote his first novel at the age of 29, long after he’d left the school.

The library will be a renovated extension of one of the university’s buildings, rather than a new construct but, given that it originally housed The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, which Murakami studied at, it’s fitting it should now house his library. Unlike most libraries, Kuma doesn’t want his newly designed library to be a place of hushed voices. Instead, he sees it as a place where anyone, including its namesake, can come to discuss both literature and the writer’s works.

An exact date for the library’s opening is yet to be announced, but it is expected to open its doors in the Spring of next year.

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