Haruki Murakami Is Donating His Vinyl Collection of over 10,000 Records to a Tokyo University

Haruki Murakami Is Donating His Vinyl Collection of over 10,000 Records to a Tokyo University
It's no secret that renowned Japanese author Haruki Murakami has a deep love for music, especially when it comes to jazz. Now he hopes to share that musical appreciation by donating his entire vinyl collection of over 10,000 records to his alma mater, Waseda University in Tokyo.

The novelist made the announcement on Sunday (November 4), revealing he will donate original manuscripts of his works, as well as other materials like his sprawling record collection, to Waseda University, from which he graduated in 1975.

During his first news conference in Japan in 37 years, 69-year-old Murakami said the donation "is a very important thing for me, so I thought I should explain clearly" by holding the news conference, the Japan Times reports. "I don't have any children, and it would cause trouble for me if those materials became scattered or lost."

Those materials being donated include copies of his books translated and published in other countries; some of those works have been translated into more than 50 languages. The university then plans to set up an international study centre featuring Murakami's works, with the space resembling a study room lined with books, as well as his thousands of records.

"I couldn't be happier if [the center] will help those who want to study my works. I hope it will be something that promotes cultural exchange," Murakami said.

Within the envisioned facility, Murakami said he hopes to organize a concert using his vast collection of more than 10,000 vinyl records, which are reported to be primarily jazz.

Those familiar with Murakami's work will know that music repeatedly makes its way into his stories. After college, he even opened a small jazz bar for seven years in Tokyo.

His website also hosts its own music section, connecting music to the Murakami's published works. You can explore that here.

While Murakami rarely makes public appearances, he recently hosted a radio show in August for the first time to talk about his favourite music. A second show was then aired on FM Tokyo on October 21, with a third now reportedly planned.

"After nearly 40 years of writing, there is hardly any space to put the documents such as manuscripts and related articles, whether at my home or at my office, " Murakami said at the news conference.

Murakami added that he will donate letters he exchanged with other authors and possibly the notebooks that contain the manuscript of perhaps his most popular novel Norwegian Wood, or at least if he can find them.

As of yet, it's unclear when the Murakami facility will open at the university.