First Haruki Murakami Festival happening in Manila this year

The Japan Foundation, Manila has announced on Tuesday the first ever “Haruki Murakami Festival in Manila – Experience his Works through Music, Films and Talks” from February to March 2018. The festival will showcase the works of one of the world’s best-selling and most popular Japanese contemporary novelists, Haruki Murakami.

There will be a series of free events categorized in three segments where attendees will have an opportunity to enjoy the world of Murakami:

  1. “Talk about” Murakami

Three talk sessions are set to capture hardcore fans of Murakami, also known as “Harukists” to first-time readers or event the most reluctant readers. Kicking-off the Festival, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) English professor Alona Guevarra – whose areas of specialization include Haruki Murakami Studies – will lead the introductory talk for the Festival together with instructor Julz Riddle.

They will discuss the popularity and global appeal of Murakami on February 27 at Leong Hall, ADMU, followed by an overview and sneak preview of other elements of the Festival, including a piano performance by award-winning pianist April Dawnena Merced-Misa, who will take part in the “Listen to” Murakami Segment.

Two other talks will be held in partnership with Fully Booked on March 17-18 at their Bonifacio High Street Branch. On March 17th, Palance award-winning Filipino writers will talk about Murakami’s story, writing style and social influence. On March 18, two Filipino writers and running enthusiasts will talk about Murakami’s work and his dedication to running, as inspired by Murakami’s memoir “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”.

2. “Watch” Murakami

Two award-winning film adaptations of Murakami’s works: Norwegian Wood and Tony Takitani will be screened at the UP Film Institute, University of the Philippines Diliman on March 15 and 16 as part of the Festival to watch and experience the film interpretation of the Murakami world.

Norwegian Wood (directed by Tran Anh Hung, 2010) is one of Murakami’s most well-known international best-selling novels which was published in 1987 in Japan. It shows a sensitive portrayal of the inner anguish of a young man who is torn between two completely different women. Tony Takitani (directed by Jun Ichikawa, 2005), based on a Murakami’s short elegant story starring Issey Ogata and Rie Miyazawa, tells the story of a lonely man who finds love.

3. “Listen to” Murakami

Murakami’s passion for music is intense. It is well-known that Murakami used to run a small jazz bar for several years, and he weaves a various musical reference in his novels. The Japan Foundation, Manila will bring two-night live concerst that features music woven in Murakami’s novel on March 23 and 24 at BGC Arts Center.

Curated by Professor Junichi Konuma who specializes on music culture, the concert intertwines the spoken word read by David Ezra with different genre of music played by jazz pianists Hiroko Kokubo and her trio, and the Beatles-inspired classical ensemble, 1966 Quartet, in special collaboration with pianist April Dawnena Merced-Misa.

For more details and updates about the Festival, please visit the website of The Japan Foundation, Manila http://jfmo.org.ph/.