TOKYO: Haruki Murakami has delivered a congratulatory speech to new art students at his alma mater, Waseda University, advising them to write from the heart to create a good novel.
The 72-year-old famed Japanese writer addressed some 1,500 new students at the enrollment ceremony for the private university’s school of humanities and social sciences and the school of culture, media and society at one of its campuses in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward on Thursday.
To students aiming to become novelists, Murakami said, “You can’t write a good novel unless you think with your heart.” He went on: “You may not be an intelligent person or a model student, but your brain might work in accordance with your needs, and that’s all right. Find what is right for you.”
Murakami also said: “The profession of novelist, like a torch, has been passed down from hand to hand. I’d be happy if any of you take it over.”
While noting that novels do not help society directly or work as a quick remedy or vaccine, Murakami said that there would be no healthy development of society without them. “A novel is something that gradually catches things that can’t be captured entirely by conscience or logic.”
Murakami graduated from a humanities faculty of Waseda University in 1975. The university has honored him as a contributor to the arts.
This autumn, the university will open the Waseda International House of Literature, also called the Haruki Murakami Library, a museum showcasing the novelist’s draft works and other documents related to him, at the premises of its Waseda Campus in Shinjuku.