Haruki Murakami Festival debuts in Manila

Haruki Murakami (Facebook/Haruki Murakami)

Haruki Murakami (Facebook/Haruki Murakami)

MANILA and TOKYO (February 13, 2018): The Japan Foundation, Manila is pleased to present the first ever Haruki Murakami Festival in Manila. Experience his works through music, films and talks from February to March 2018.

Showcasing Haruki Murakami, one of the world’s best-selling and most popular Japanese contemporary novelists, the festival consists of a series of free events categorized in three segments where you will have opportunities to enjoy the world of Murakami with your senses. The three categories are talks, films and live concerts.



Three talk sessions are set to capture hardcore fans of Murakami, also known as Harukists, to first-time readers or even the most reluctant of 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.

Guevarra and Riddle will discuss the popularity and global appeal of Murakami on February 27, 2018 at Leong Hall, ADMU. It will be 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 live concerts.


Haruki Murakami Festival in Manila Opening Night

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 27, 5pm – 7pm

Speakers: Alona Guevarra (Ateneo de Manila University, Assistant Professor) Julz Riddle (Ateneo de Manila University, Lecturer)

Performers: pianist April Dawnena Merced-Misa, actor David Ezra

Venue: Leong Hall Auditorium, Ateneo de Manila University

Admission: Free.

Registration is highly encouraged: https://harukitalk.eventbrite.com

Walk-ins are welcome at a first-come, first served basis.


Two other talks will be held in partnership with Fully Booked on March 17-18, 2018 at Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street Branch. On March 17, 2018, Palanca 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”.


Talking about Murakami

Date and Time: Saturday, March 17, 2pm – 4pm

Speakers: John B. Labella (Ateneo De Manila University, Assistant Professor) Luna Sicat Cleto (UP Institute of Creative Writing Fellow) Mary Thomas (Ateneo De Manila University, Assistant Professor)


Murakami: Running & Writing

Date and Time: Sunday, March 18, 2pm – 4pm

Speakers: Frank Cimatu (Essayist & Poet, Rappler Correspondent) Achilles B. Mina (Editor)

Venue: Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street Branch

Admission: Free.

Registration is highly encouraged: https://harukitalk.eventbrite.com Walk-ins are welcome at a first-come, first-served basis.



Two award-winning film adaptations of Murakami’s works 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. These are “Norwegian Wood” and “Tony Takitani.”

Directed by Tran Anh Hung in 2010, “Norwegian Wood” is one of Murakami’s most well-known international best-selling novels and 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.


Date and Time: Thursday, March 15, 7pm

Venue: UP Film Institute, University of the Philippines Diliman

Admission: Free on a first-come, first-served basis

Ddirected by Jun Ichikawa in 2005, “Tony Takitani” is based on a Murakami’s short elegant story starring Issey Ogata and Rie Miyazawa. It tells the story of a lonely man who finds love.

Date and Time: Friday, March 16, 7pm

Venue: UP Film Institute, University of the Philippines Diliman

Admission: Free on a first-come, first-served basis


Live Concerts

Murakami’s passion for music is intense. It is well-known that he used to run a small jazz bar for several years, and he weaves in various musical references in his novels.

The Japan Foundation, Manila will bring two-night live concerts that feature music woven in Murakami’s novels on March 23-24, 2018 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 genres of music played by three jazz pianists Hiroko Kokubo and her trio and the Beatles-inspired classical ensemble 1966 Quartet in special collaboration with pianist April Dawnena Merced-Misa.


“Listen to” Haruki Murakami – Jazz, Classical Music and the Beatles

Date and Time: Friday, March 23, 8pm Saturday, March 24, 8pm

Artists: Hiroko Kokubu Special Trio, 1966 Quartet, April Dawnena Merced-Misa, David Ezra

Venue: Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center Admission: Free.

Registration is highly encouraged: https://murakamiconcert.eventbrite.com

Registration opens on Feb 27, Tuesday. Walk-ins are welcome at a first-come, firstserved basis. Concert inquiry: murakamiconcert@gmail.com

The Festival is generously supported by The Embassy of Japan, BGC Arts Center, JT International (Philippines) Inc., Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., UP Film Institute, Kritika Kultura, AILAP, The Japanese Studies Program in Ateneo de Manila University and Fully Booked.

Haruki Murakami’s bio is available at http://www.harukimurakami.com/author/ (Penguin Random House). Please note that the presence of Haruki Murakami himself is not expected during the Festival.

For more details and updates about the Festival, please visit the following:

JF Manila Official: http://facebook.com/jfmanila

TALK ABOUT Murakami Talks: https://goo.gl/sdnFi6

WATCH Murakami: Film showings: https://goo.gl/jDtTUr

LISTEN to Haruki Murakami: Jazz, Classical Music and the Beatles Concert: https://goo.gl/G6b5mg



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