Haruki Murakami Quotes

Today is the birthday of Haruki Murakami, one of my favourite authors. This Japanese writer’s novels, essays, and short stories have not only been bestsellers in Japan but also internationally. His works have been translated into 50 languages. He was born in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan, on 12th of January, 1949. During the pandemic I kept reading his works at a stretch and called the phase, ‘Madness with Murakami’. 

Madness with Murakami: Books by Haruki Murakami

Some of his books have such a strong impact on me and I find some Haruki Murakami quotes life changing and am sharing them.

Quotes from Murakami's Most Popular, ‘Kafka on the Shore’ (2002)
  1. “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.”
  2. “It’s all a question of imagination. Our responsibility begins with the power to imagine.”
  3. “There’s no war that will end all wars.”
  4. “Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”
Quotes from, ‘Norwegian Wood’ (1987), the Book which Changed Murakami’s Life as an Author
  1. “What happens when people open their hearts?”
    “They get better.”
  2. “Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.”
Quotes from One of the Strangest Murakami Books, ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ (1997, English)
  1. “Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy.”
  2. “Results aside, the ability to have complete faith in another human being is one of the finest qualities a person can possess.”
  3. Hatred is like a long, dark shadow. Not even the person it falls upon knows where it comes from, in most cases. It is like a two-edged sword. When you cut the other person, you cut yourself. The more violently you hack at the other person, the more violently you hack at yourself. It can often be fatal. But it is not easy to dispose of. Please be careful, Mr.Okada. It is very dangerous. Once it has taken root in your heart, hatred is the most difficult think in the world to shake off.”
Quotes from Haruki Murakami’s ‘Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World’
  1. “Kindness and a caring mind are two separate qualities. Kindness is manners. It is superficial custom, an acquired practice. Not so the mind. The mind is deeper, stronger, and, I believe, it is far more inconstant.”
  2. “Unclose your mind. You are not a prisoner. You are a bird in fight, searching the skies for dreams.”

Quotes from One of my Favourites, ‘1Q84’

  1. “Life is not like water. Things in life don’t necessarily flow over the shortest possible route.”
  2. “Knowledge and ability were tools, not things to show off.”
  3. “It is not that the meaning cannot be explained. But there are certain meanings that are lost forever the moment they are explained in words.”
  4. “Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up where we started.”



Some Other Haruki Murakami Quotes

  1. “Don’t pointless things have a place, too, in this far-from-perfect world?” from ‘Sputnik Sweetheart’.
  2. “A friend to kill time is a friend sublime.” From ‘A Wild Sheep Chase’.

Haruki Murakami Magic

Haruki Murakami’s writings are extremely detailed, filled with absurd ideas which teleports you to a magical parallel world. He is one of the masters of magical realism in literature. I have shared 17 life changing Haruki Murakami quotes above and would love to end with the eighteenth one from a very special book. ‘What I Talk about When I Talk about Running’ (2007) is a book which speaks volumes about the author, Haruki Murakami. His journey from being the owner of a Jazz Bar named, ‘Peter Cat’ to being Japan’s most popular author, is captured in this book. The book speaks of what influences such an extra ordinary person and his philosophies including that of meditative running. I stick to this quote from my very core “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

Dipannita Bhattacherya

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