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. The Festival, which showcases one of the world’s best-selling and most popular Japanese contemporary novelists, Haruki Murakami, 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:

  1. “Talk about” Murakami: talks,
  2. “Watch” Murakami: films; and
  3. “Listen to” Murakami: live concerts.

“Talk about” Murakami

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. 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.

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: April Dawnena Merced-Misa, pianist; David Ezra, Actor
Venue: Leong Hall Auditorium, Ateneo de Manila University
Admission: Free.

Registration is highly encouraged:
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 and 18 at Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street Branch. On March 17th, 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:
Walk-ins are welcome at a first-come, first-served basis.

“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.

NORWEGIAN WOOD (ノルウェイの森 | Norway no mori)
Date and Time: Thursday, March 15, 7pm

TONY TAKITANI (トニー滝谷 | Tony Takitani)
Date and Time: Friday, March 16, 7pm

Venue: UP Film Institute, University of the Philippines

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

“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 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 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 genres of music played by 3 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:
(Registration opens on Feb 27, Tuesday)
Walk-ins are welcome at a first-come, first- served basis.
Concert inquiry:

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