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Press conference held ahead of Haruki Murakami Library opening
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Press conference held ahead of Haruki Murakami Library opening

Thu, Oct 7, 2021
Press conference held ahead of Haruki Murakami Library opening
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Explore Your Story, Speak Your Heart

Unveiling the Waseda International House of Literature (The Haruki Murakami Library)

Waseda University’s newest addition, the long-awaited Waseda International House of Literature (The Haruki Murakami Library) opened to the public October 1, 2021. A press conference was held on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at the Masaru Ibuka Auditorium in the International Conference Center on Waseda Campus.

In November 2018, plans were revealed for the establishment of an international research center at Waseda. In June 2019, these plans were further realized by the announcement of the Waseda International House of Literature with a Haruki Murakami Library concept, and construction began with the renovation of Building 4 on Waseda Campus.

In addition to the attendance of the author himself, Haruki Murakami, the press conference also saw Tadashi Yanai, Chairman, President, and CEO of Japan-based Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., and Kengo Kuma, world-renowned architect and Specially Appointed Waseda University Professor.

Yanai’s generous financial support through the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities helped make the vision of the Waseda International House of Literature a reality, and Kuma was behind the architectural design and reconstruction of Building 4 into the new facility. The support of Yanai and Kuma, both Waseda alumni, was essential to making this ambitious project possible.

The press conference was also attended by Waseda University president, Aiji Tanaka, and Hirokazu Toeda, Director of the Waseda International House of Literature and Professor of the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

After a stunning video introduction (linked below) of the Waseda International House of Literature by director Kei Shichiri, each of the above guest speakers took to the podium to convey their thoughts towards the opening of the Waseda International House of Literature, and how the establishment of the facility will be a promising addition for the future of the University.

To commemorate the October 1 opening of the Waseda International House of Literature, the public reading event “Authors Alive!” was announced. The event was proposed by Murakami, and further details can be found on the WIHL website (available only in Japanese).

Additionally, the opening international symposium “Explore Your Story, Speak Your Heart” was announced, scheduled to be broadcast online via YouTube. Further details can be found here.

A short film directed by Kei Shichiri, titled “Explore Your Story, Speak Your Heart,” beautifully captures the architecture of the Waseda International House of Literature, and “explores the relationship between people and books through the interplay of light and shadow.” The video can be viewed on the WIHL website.


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