Haruki Murakami designs a record in his Japanese alma mater, which will include drawings of his best novels, his translation work and his massive collection of music, a personal passion that is a key part of his stories.
"I am very happy if these materials can contribute in any way to those who want to study my works," said the Japanese writer at a press conference with Waseda University officials, where the library and archive are housed.
"I hope it would be a place for cultural exchanges with a positive and open atmosphere," added Murakami.
Now, 69 and one of the most popular and acclaimed novelists in the world, Murakami began writing after graduating from Waseda in 1975, while he organized a jazz bar in Tokyo.
His debut, Listen to the wind to sing, came out in 1979, and the romantic novel of 1987 Norwegian wood was his first best seller, establishing him as a young literary star. His latest novel, Killing Commendatore, recently hit bookstores.
Murakami said the last Sunday's event was the first official press conference in his home in 37 years. Although he had been interacting with fans on several occasions this year, including hosting the radio program twice and appearing before supporters at a book event in New York, Murakami on Sunday agreed to set only cameras.
The archiving project arose earlier this year when Murakami proposed to donate the collection of material, which has grown so much over the past 40 years that it has lost storage space at home and its office.
"I have no children to take care of them, and I do not want them to be saved and those resources are lost when I die," he said.
"I'm grateful that I can keep them in a file."
Waseda officials said details are still working, but a partial record will begin in 2019. Kaoru University President Kamata said he wants to make the library a necessary place for Japanese culture and literature fans and researchers from all over the world .
The original files will include drawings Norwegian wood who wrote manually on laptops while traveling in Europe, as well as his own translations of fiction by his beloved writers such as Raymond Carver, J. Salinger and Scott Fitzgerald.
Murakami translates professionally into English-language English novels, but says he enjoys that so much his hobby is despite work. He said his translation has given different perspectives and made a big difference to what he writes.
"I strongly believe that translation work has helped me grow up. It may be asphyxiating if I had only stayed in Japanese literature," he said.
Murakami said he wants to see the library stimulate interaction and cultural exchanges between students, scholars and others interested in books and Japanese literature.
Ideally, he said he wants to make a place like his study, where he writes stories by listening to the selection of the music of the day and possibly having a concert sometimes.
He said the library and archive will be developed in the coming years as it will bring more materials.
"I'm still alive and I have to use some of them," said Murakami. – AP