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Murakami library unveiled at author’s alma mater in Tokyo

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Haruki Murakami fans can marvel at a vast collection of the Japanese author’s novels, scrapbooks and vinyl at a cavernous new library unveiled Wednesday at his old university in Tokyo.

Murakami, 72, is one of Japan’s most famous writers, whose intricately crafted tales of the absurdity and loneliness of modern life are global bestsellers.

The library dedicated to his work, which opens next week at Waseda University, features a replica of his minimalist workspace, a cafe and even a radio studio.

“Honestly, I wish something like this had been built after my death,” Murakami joked as reporters were shown around the facility.

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Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami poses for media during a press conference on the university’s new international house of literature as known as The Haruki Murakami Library at the Waseda University. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

“Now it has been finished while I am alive, I am a bit nervous. What if I commit a crime? It would cause serious trouble to Waseda,” the writer and jazz fanatic said.

The arched wooden interior and funky white facade of the Haruki Murakami Library is the work of celebrated architect Kengo Kuma, who also designed Tokyo’s National Stadium, used at the Olympics this summer.

Officially named The Waseda International House of Literature, the library opens on October 1 and will initially focus on Murakami’s novels, essays, interviews and other texts related to him.

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A journalist visits the university’s new international house of literature as known as The Haruki Murakami Library” at Waseda University Wednesday in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

It has been remodeled from an existing classroom building on the campus where the writer was a student five decades ago.

Murakami, wearing a navy jacket and mustard yellow T-shirt, recalled reading books and skipping classes at a time of radical student movements.

“I hope this will be a facility where students will freely produce their own ideas and launch them as concrete projects,” he said.

More books by other authors will be added to the shelves in the future, “so it is my hope that it will be a wide-ranging and fluid research space,” he added.

by AFP

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Books of Haruki Murakami are displayed at the university’s new international house of literature as known as The Haruki Murakami Library at Waseda University in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

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