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LOOK: Inside the Murakami Library in Tokyo

LOOK: Inside the Murakami Library in Tokyo

A library dedicated to Japanese author Haruki Murakami is soon opening in Tokyo.

The Murakami Library in Tokyo is unlike your typical library. Formally known as the Waseda International House of Literature, it will feature the works, scrapbooks, and record collection of the acclaimed novelist. Here’s a sneak peek inside the new facility, which opens to the public on October 1.

Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Inside the Murakami Library

Of all the places to build a library dedicated to the works of Haruki Murakami, it only seems fitting that it be at his alma mater, Waseda University. The venue is five stories tall with a basement and designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. It includes a study space, a conference area, and a studio with acoustic equipment.

Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

The library also houses 3,000 of his books, some of which have been translated into 50 different languages, and achieves of materials personally donated by the author. A few of his vinyl included in the exhibit are from his favorite musicians like Billie Holiday and Sonny Rollins.

Passing the flame to the next generation

“Waseda’s strength is that it is located in the middle of the city and that it is open (to the public). I want to do something that also draws in the outside world,” Murakami told Kyodo News. “I don’t have any children, so I wanted to prevent my resources and manuscripts from being lost after my death,” he added.

Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

The University is also providing students to work at the Orange Cat café, where visitors may spend their time reading with a great cup of coffee. Fans of Murakami will get that it’s a nod to his first business venture, Peter Cat. The author hopes this place inspires younger generations and encourages learning beyond the classroom.

Visiting the library is free, but guests must schedule an appointment in advance on the Waseda University website. However, reservations are currently limited to residents of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba prefectures. Each session lasts 90 minutes, except the 12noon-1pm session, and is restricted to 30 persons at a time.

Art Daniella Sison

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