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Campus Now

Early Spring Issue (Apr. 2014)


Examining the literary works of Haruki Murakami in East Asia

Holding the international symposium “East Asian Cultural Sphere and Haruki Murakami”

8 speakers from 4 different countries discuss their individual perspective on the literary works of Murakami.

On December 14, the international symposium “East Asian Cultural Sphere and Haruki Murakami—Literature which exceeds borders and possibility within crisis” (held by the Research Institute for Letters, Arts and Sciences) was held at the Masaru Ibuka Auditorium. Based on essays written by author Haruki Murakami (graduate of the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I), the symposium examines cultural exchange among Japan, China and Korea.

In 2012, the nationalization of the Senkaku Islands by Japan led to heightened tension between Japan and China. At that time, Murakami submitted an essay entitled “Path for coming and going of spirit should not be closed” (September 28th edition of Asahi Shimbun Newspaper). The essay expressed the author’s concern regarding the crisis facing the “cultural sphere” currently shared by East Asia in terms of acceptance and fondness for music, culture, film and television programs among citizens of different nations. Participating in the symposium were 8 researchers including literary scholars and authors from Japan, China, Korea and America, all of whom share Murakami’s concern. Through lectures and a panel discussion, the participants engaged in a lively exchange of opinions regarding the literary works of Murakami.