Haruki Murakami library

Long time fans of Haruki Murakami should be familiar with one of his earlier works, The Strange Library, a short prose about a boy trapped in an eerie library. Well, fans will soon be able to enter the fictive library envisioned in Murakami’s literary world, sans the creepy elements, as a new Haruki Murakami library will be opening in Waseda University next year. 

New Haruki Murakami library to open in Waseda University

Haruki Murakami library - interior of library
Image credit: Waseda University

In June 2019, Waseda University, Murakami’s alma mater, announced their plans to open a Haruki Murakami library on their Tokyo campus. The Waseda International House Of Literature, better known as The Haruki Murakami Library, will house a collection of the author’s prize-winning novels.   

Haruki Murakami library - exterior of library
Exterior of the library 
Image credit: Waseda University

Haruki Murakami library - signed copy of haruki murakami's novel
A signed copy of Haruki Murakami’s novel. 
Image credit: Waseda University

According to Waseda University, Murakami has also donated handwritten manuscripts, letters, and interview materials he has amassed over the course of his writing career. The materials will be kept in the library, available for visitors to browse through.

Building designed by Kengo Kuma

Haruki Murakami library - japan national stadium
Exterior of the Japan National Stadium 
Image credit: @tokyo23gram

Kengo Kuma, a household name in contemporary Japanese architecture, is the architect behind the project. Even if you haven’t heard his name before, you’d surely recognise one of his most notable works – the Japan National Stadium, which is where the upcoming Tokyo Olympics will be held. 

Haruki Murakami library - waseda university building no 4
The old Building No. 4. 
Image credit: @waseda_WIHL

The new library will replace the campus’s current Building No. 4, which sits adjacent to the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum – a museum dedicated to the history of Western and Japanese theatre. 

According to the official Twitter account, the building is still a work in progress. When completed, Murakami fans and literature enthusiasts can expect a spacious and comfortable literary haven. 

Haruki Murakami library scheduled to open in 2021

As steeped in surrealism as Murakami’s literary world is, many of his stories are set in real-life places in Japan. Now, you can add the library to your travel itinerary and have a full-fledged Murakami pilgrimage tour. 

Though Waseda University has not confirmed the exact opening date yet, the library is expected to open its doors in Fall 2021. Till then, check out their Twitter page to get the latest updates. 

Waseda University
Address: 1 Chome-104 Totsukamachi, Shinjuku City, 169-8050, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-6265-9720 

For more places to visit in Japan, check out these:

Cover image adapted from: Amazon and Waseda University