Traditional & Culture

Japan’s Most Famous Author Loves Running, Vinyl and… T-shirts?

Your chance to win a signed copy of Murakami T and a Murakami T-shirt!

In a new book, Haruki Murakami, the international literary icon, opens his eclectic closet and shares photos of his extensive unique personal T-shirt collection, accompanied by essays that reveal a side of him rarely seen by the public.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for Murakami fans this Christmas, then look no further. Murakami T: The T-Shirts I Love is a gorgeous, small-format, full-colour, photographic gift book, revealing Haruki Murakami’s favourite t-shirts collected on his international travels and giving fascinating autobiographical insight into the internationally acclaimed writer, through his accompanying essays.

The essays and photos in Murakami T stem from Haruki Murakami’s collaboration with Japanese magazine, Popeye, and are translated into English for the first time here.

Many Murakami fans will know about his 10,000-vinyl-record collection, and his obsession with running, but few have heard about his T-shirt collection. ‘I’m not particularly interested in collecting things’, he writes in the Preface, ‘but there’s one sort of running motif in my life: despite my basic indifference, objects just seem to collect around me, of their own volition’

Murakami’s books have galvanised millions around the world and there is indeed a t-shirt he treasures the most, the one that inspired his beloved short-story ‘Tony Takitani’. He writes about how he encountered the t-shirt in ‘a thrift story in Maui’ and bought it ‘for about a dollar’. It turned out to be one of his best investments, as he asked himself ‘what kind of person could Tony Takitani be?’, let his imagination run wild and ended up writing a ‘short story with him as the protagonist, which was later made into a film’.

‘I’m not particularly interested in collecting things, but there’s one sort of running motif in my life: despite my basic indifference, objects just seem to collect around me, of their own volition’

The t-shirts in the book all have a story behind them, whether they are gems found in bookshops, charity shops, record shops or collected at marathons and at concerts. Some feature whisky, animals, cards and superheroes and look out for bands from Springsteen to The Beach Boys to R.E.M. Between photographs and essays, Murakami’s multifaceted and wonderfully eccentric persona shines through, a true master of stories, and the ‘world’s most popular cult novelist’ (Guardian)

Murakami T: The T-Shirts I Love

Translated by Philip Gabriel

Published by Harvill Secker, an imprint of Vintage, part of Penguin Random House UK

Find out more about Murakami T here

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About Haruki Murakami:

In 1978, Haruki Murakami was twenty-nine and running a jazz bar in downtown Tokyo. One April day, the impulse to write a novel came to him suddenly while watching a baseball game. That first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won a new writers’ award and was published the following year. More followed, including A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but it was Norwegian Wood, published in 1987, that turned Murakami from a writer into a phenomenon.

In works such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle1Q84, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and Men Without Women, Murakami’s distinctive blend of the mysterious and the everyday, of melancholy and humour, continues to enchant readers, ensuring his place as one of the world’s most acclaimed and well-loved writers.

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