Haruki Murakami festival in Manila: Talk, watch and listen

Talk, watch and listen at the Murakami-themed festival in Manila. Source: Shutterstock.

HARUKI MURAKAMI fans in the Philippines are in for a treat as The Japan Foundation will be holding the very first Murakami-themed festival this month.

Haruki Murakami Festival – Experience His Works through Music, Films, and Talks” will be split into three parts – “Talk about Murakami“, “Watch Murakami“, and “Listen to Murakami” – starting Feb 27. The opening night will be held at the Leong Hall Auditorium at Ateneo de Manila University and headed by Ateneo de Manila professors Alona Guevarra and Julz Riddle.

Source: The Japan Foundation Manila.

“Murakami is one of the most popular Japanese writers in the world, with no exception in the Philippines where almost all the bookstores have his books.

“The world of Murakami is also culturally rich, as his interests span from music to running. Because of that, the Japan Foundation Manila believed we can create a unique series of events on Murakami, and has been planning to hold Murakami related events for a while,” the foundation’s assistant director Tetsuya Koide told ABS-CBN News.

“We hope this festival will provide opportunities for Filipinos to become more interested in Haruki Murakami books, his world, as well as other Japanese literature and culture.”

The nearly month-long event also features talks scheduled on March 17 and March 18 – “Talking about Murakami” and “Murakami: Running and Writing” – and screenings of two award-winning film adaptations of Murakami’s works.

Based on Murakami’s 1987 best-selling novel of the same title, Norwegian Wood shows a sensitive portrayal of the inner anguish of a young man who is torn between two completely different women. The film stars Ken’ichi Matsuyama as Watanabe, Rinko Kikuchi as Naoko and Kiko Mizuhara as Midori.

Tony Takitani is based on Murakami’s short elegant story starring Issey Ogata and Rie Miyazawa, and it tells the story of a lonely man who finds love.

Both screenings, on March 15 and March 16 respectively at the UP Film Institute, are free admission on a first-come, first-served basis.

The festival will then culminate in a two-night “Listen to Murakami” concert on March 23 and 24 at the BGC Arts Center.

For more information about the festival, check out http://facebook.com/jfmanila.