Entertainment News

Haruki Murakami to make radio debut with one-off music and running-themed show

by Chisato Tanaka

Staff Writer

Exciting news for “Harukists”: Internationally acclaimed novelist Haruki Murakami will serve as a DJ for a one-off radio program on Aug. 5, Tokyo FM announced Tuesday.

This is the first time the famed writer will feature on a radio show, according to the station.

The theme of the 55-minute show, called “Murakami Radio,” is “Run & Songs.”

Murakami, who boasts a legion of fans at home and abroad but typically shies away from the public spotlight, has been running for years to build up his physical condition so that he can continue writing novels.

Murakami will play some of the music he listens to while jogging during the radio show. He will also explore his collection of CDs and records and discuss the meaning of running, music and literature, Tokyo FM said.

“I will select and play tunes that listeners rarely (or never) encounter in a radio program but will find very relaxing,” Murakami wrote in a message quoted by the broadcaster.

“And I would like to talk a bit between (those songs). Please enjoy,” Murakami added.

Murakami has been a marathon runner for more than 35 years and is a jazz enthusiast.

A Tokyo FM spokesman declined to tell The Japan Times whether the special radio program was initially proposed by Murakami or the station.

In the message, however, Murakami explained his intention behind the radio program to prospective listeners.

“It has been my hobby to collect records and CDs since my childhood, and thanks to that, my house is inundated with such things. However, I have often felt a sense of guilt toward the world while listening to such amazing music and having a good time alone,” Murakami said in the message.

“I thought it may be good to share such good times with other people while chatting over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee,” he said.

A special website for “Murakami Radio” was launched Tuesday. Questions for Murakami about music can be posted there until June 10 and selected questions will be read and answered by the writer during the show.

“Murakami Radio” will be broadcast on 38 stations belonging to Japan FM Network, including Tokyo FM, from 7 p.m. to 7:55 p.m. Elsewhere, the program will start at 8 p.m. in Hiroshima Prefecture and 9 p.m. in Okinawa Prefecture. The program will also be aired on Radiko, an internet-based radio broadcasting service.

Murakami, a Kansai-born Waseda University graduate, has written more than 30 pieces of fiction and nonfiction in Japanese and has also translated more than 30 titles from English into Japanese.

Murakami’s work has been translated into more than 40 languages. The author has won numerous literary prizes over the years, including the Franz Kafka Prize in 2006 and the Jerusalem Prize in 2009.