107 Haruki Murakami Quotes on Life, Love & Writing

Famous Haruki Murakami Quote

In this post, we’ll delve into the world of Haruki Murakami quotes, who is widely regarded as one of the most prominent and influential Japanese novelists of our time.

Haruki Murakami is a Japanese author and translator born on January 12, 1949, in Kyoto, Japan. After graduation, he opened a jazz bar called “Peter Cat” in Tokyo and ran it with his wife, Yoko. It was during this time that he began writing fiction. His first novel, “Hear the Wind Sing,” won a literary prize for new writers.

His writing is often characterized by a mix of reality and fantasy, a focus on the inner lives of characters, and a pervasive sense of melancholy.

In addition to his novels, Haruki Murakami has written numerous short stories and essays. He is also an avid long-distance runner. He has completed numerous marathons and ultra-marathons, and his book “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” reflects on the connections between his writing and running.

Let’s read some of the best Haruki Murakami quotes about love, life, writing, and more.

Haruki Murakami Quotes

Haruki Murakami Quote

1. “The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.”
2. “Everything passes. Nobody gets anything for keeps. And that’s how we’ve got to live.
3. “I’m not a fast thinker, but once I am interested in something, I am doing it for many years.”
4. “My heroes don’t have anything special. They have something to tell other people but they don’t know how, so they talk to themselves.”
5. “Most young people were getting jobs in big companies, becoming company men. I wanted to be individual.”
6. “I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.”
7. “Narrow minds devoid of imagination. Intolerance, theories cut off from reality, empty terminology, usurped ideals, inflexible systems. Those are the things that really frighten me.”
8. “I don’t know how many good books I still have in me; I hope there are another four or five.”
9. “I am 55 years old now. It takes three years to write one book. I don’t know how many books I will be able to write before I die. It is like a countdown. So with each book I am praying – please let me live until I am finished.”
10. “Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it’s time for them to be hurt.”

Haruki Murakami Quotes on Love

Haruki Murakami Quote on Love

1. “People fall in love without reason, without even wanting to. You can’t predict it. That’s love.”
2. “If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there’s salvation in life. Even if you can’t get together with that person.”
3. “Maybe it’s just hiding somewhere. Or gone on a trip to come home. But falling in love is always a pretty crazy thing.”
4. “For a certain kind of person, love begins from something tiny or silly. From something like that or it doesn’t begin at all.”
5. “I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it—to be fed so much love I couldn’t take any more. Just once.”
6. “If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there’s salvation in life. Even if you can’t get together with that person.”
7. “For a long time, she held a special place in my heart. I kept this special place just for her, like a ‘Reserved’ sign on a quiet corner table in a restaurant. Despite the fact that I was sure I’d never see her again.”
8. “What a terrible thing it is to wound someone you really care for and to do it so unconsciously.”

Haruki Murakami Quotes on Life

Haruki Murakami Quote on Life

1. “Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.”
2. “Even chance meetings are the result of karma… Things in life are fated by our previous lives. That even in the smallest events there’s no such thing as coincidence.”
3. “Life is not like water. Things in life don’t necessarily flow over the shortest possible route.”
4. “People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely.”
5. “Life is not like water. Things in life don’t necessarily flow over the shortest possible route.”
6. “Among the many values in life, I appreciate freedom most.”
7. “Remove everything pointless from an imperfect life and it’d lose even its imperfection.”
8. “As we go through life, we gradually discover who we are, but the more we discover, the more we lose ourselves.”
9. “You are 27 or 28 right? It is very tough to live at that age. When nothing is sure. I have sympathy with you.”

Haruki Murakami Quotes About Writing

Haruki Murakami Quote About Writing

1. “I don’t think of myself as an artist. I’m just a guy who can write.”
2. “I started writing at the kitchen table after midnight. It took ten months to finish that first book; I sent it to a publisher and I got some kind of prize, so it was like a dream – I was surprised to find it happening.”
3. “If you keep on writing for three years, every day, you should be strong. Of course, you have to be strong mentally, also. But in the first place, you have to be strong physically. That is a very important thing. Physically and mentally you have to be strong.”
4. “When I am writing, I do not distinguish between the natural and supernatural. Everything seems real. That is my world, you could say.”
5. “There’s no such thing as perfect writing, just like there’s no such thing as perfect despair.”
6. “For me, writing a novel is like having a dream. Writing a novel lets me intentionally dream while I’m still awake. I can continue yesterday’s dream today, something you can’t normally do in everyday life.”
7. “A fortunate author can write maybe twelve novels in his lifetime.”
8. “Sometimes I wonder why I’m a novelist right now. There is no definite career reason why I became a writer. Something happened, and I became a writer. And now I’m a successful writer.”
9. “When I start to write, I don’t have any plan at all. I just wait for the story to come.
10. “Whenever I write a novel, I have a strong sense that I am doing something I was unable to do before. With each new work, I move up a step and discover something new inside me.”
11. “I’m a writer. I don’t support any war. That’s my principle.”
12. “I didn’t want to be a writer, but I became one. And now I have many readers, in many countries. I think that’s a miracle. So I think I have to be humble regarding this ability. I’m proud of it and I enjoy it, and it is strange to say it this way, but I respect it.”
13. “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
14. “Before I became a writer, I was running a jazz bar in the center of Tokyo, which means that I worked in filthy air all the time late into the night. I was very excited when I started making a living out of my writing, and I decided, ‘I will live in nothing but an absolutely healthy way.’”
15. “Stories lie deep in our souls. Stories lie so deep at the bottom of our hearts that they can bring people together on the deepest level. When I write a novel, I go into such depths.”

Haruki Murakami Quotes on Happiness

Haruki Murakami Quote on Happiness

1. “But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much.”
2. “It’s like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.”
3. “Concentration is one of the happiest things in my life.”
4. “If you cannot concentrate, you are not so happy.”
5. “Confidence, as a teenager? Because I knew what I loved. I loved to read; I loved to listen to music; and I loved cats. Those three things. So, even though I was an only kid, I could be happy because I knew what I loved.”
6. “I lost some of my friends because I got so famous, people who just assumed that I would be different now. I felt like everyone hated me. That is the most unhappy time of my life.”

Haruki Murakami Quotes on Truth

Haruki Murakami Quote on Truth

1. “Fact may not be truth, and truth may not be factual.”
2. “The truth sometimes reminds me of a city buried in sand. As time passes, the sand piles up even thicker, and occasionally it’s blown away and what’s below is revealed.”
3. “Most people are not looking for provable truths. As you said, truth is often accompanied by intense pain, and almost no one is looking for painful truths. What people need is beautiful, comforting stories that make them feel as if their lives have some meaning.”
4. “Don’t let appearances fool you. There’s always only one reality.”
5. “No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.”
6. “No matter how far you travel, you can never get away from yourself.”

Haruki Murakami Quotes on Time

Haruki Murakami Quote on Time

1. “As time goes on, you’ll understand. What lasts, lasts; what doesn’t, doesn’t. Time solves most things. And what time can’t solve, you have to solve yourself.”
2. “Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy.”
3. “You know, if you are kind of rich, the best thing is that you don’t have to think about money. The best thing you can buy with money is freedom, time. I don’t know how much I earn a year. I have no idea. I don’t know how much I pay in taxes.”

Inspirational Haruki Murakami Quotes

Inspirational Haruki Murakami Quote

1. “In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.”
2. “No matter what they wish for, no matter how far they go, people can never be anything but themselves.”
3. “A certain type of perfection can only be realized through a limitless accumulation of the imperfect.”
4. “’What makes us the most normal,’ said Reiko, ‘is knowing that we’re not normal.'”
5. “Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.”
6. “But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
7. “What matters is deciding in your heart to accept another person completely. When you do that, it is always the first time and the last.”
8. “It’s hard to tell the difference between sea and sky, between voyager and sea. Between reality and the workings of the heart.”
9. “Whether you take the doughnut hole as a blank space or as an entity unto itself is a purely metaphysical question and does not affect the taste of the doughnut one bit.”
10. “The better you were able to imagine what you wanted to imagine, the farther you could flee from reality.”
11. “It is not that the meaning cannot be explained. But there are certain meanings that are lost forever the moment they are explained in words.”

Haruki Murakami Quotes on Japanese & Japan

Haruki Murakami Quote on Japanese & Japan

1. “I didn’t read so much Japanese literature. Because my father was a teacher of Japanese literature, I just wanted to do something else.”
2. “Since I have come to America, I am often asked whether my next novel will be set in America. I don’t think it will. I think I will be living in America for some time to come, but while living in America, I would like to write about Japanese society from the outside.
3. “I have no models in Japanese literature. I created my own style, my own way.”
4. “It is hard to be an individual in Japan.”
5. “I myself have been on my own and utterly independent since I graduated. I haven’t belonged to any company or any system. It isn’t easy to live like this in Japan.
6. “In Japan they prefer the realistic style. They like answers and conclusions, but my stories have none. I want to leave them wide open to every possibility. I think my readers understand that openness.”
7. “I am worrying about my country. I feel I have a responsibility as a novelist to do something.”

Haruki Murakami Cat Quotes

Haruki Murakami Quote on Cats

1. “I collect records. And cats. I don’t have any cats right now. But if I’m taking a walk and I see a cat, I’m happy.”
2. “What I think is this: You should give up looking for lost cats and start searching for the other half of your shadow.”
3. “Whenever I write a novel, music just sort of naturally slips in (much like cats do, I suppose).”

Haruki Murakami Quotes on Memories

Haruki Murakami Quote on Memories

1. “You can hide memories, but you can’t erase the history that produced them.”
2. “Most everything you think you know about me is nothing more than memories.”
3. “Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
4. “That’s what the world is , after all: an endless battle of contrasting memories.”
5. “People leave strange little memories of themselves behind when they die.”

Short Haruki Murakami Quotes

Short Haruki Murakami Quote

1. “If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.”
2. “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
3. “What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.”
4. “No matter how far you travel, you can never get away from yourself.”
5. “Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”
6. “Sometimes I get real lonely sleeping with you.”
7. “Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.”
8. “What we seek is some kind of compensation for what we put up with.”
9. “Taking crazy things seriously is a serious waste of time.”
10. “Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”
11. “Listen up – there’s no war that will end all wars.”
12. “I can bear any pain as long as it has meaning.”
13. “Chance encounters are what keep us going.”
14. “I’m not so weird to me.”

Haruki Murakami Quotes on Running

Haruki Murakami Quote on Running

1. “I began running on an everyday basis after I became a writer. As being a writer requires sitting at a desk for hours a day, without getting some exercise you’d quickly get out of shape and gain weight, I figured.”
2. “I’ve been running a full marathon every year for more than 20 years, and my record is getting worse. Getting older, getting worse. It’s natural.”
3. “It’s physical. If you keep on writing for three years, every day, you should be strong. Of course you have to be strong mentally, also. But in the first place you have to be strong physically. That is a very important thing. Physically and mentally you have to be strong.”

Haruki Murakami Dream Quotes

Haruki Murakami Quote on Dreams

1. “You have to dream intentionally. Most people dream a dream when they are asleep. But to be a writer, you have to dream while you are awake, intentionally.”
2. “The answer is dreams. Dreaming on and on. Entering the world of dreams and never coming out. Living in dreams for the rest of time.”
3. “Unclose your mind. You are not a prisoner. You are a bird in flight, searching the skies for dreams.”
4. “I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do.”
5. “Dreams come from the past, not from the future. Dreams shouldn’t control you – you should control them.”

These Haruki Murakami quotes perfectly encapsulate his writing that often explores themes of loneliness, existentialism, the search for identity, and the influence of Western and Japanese cultures on contemporary society.

Murakami’s popularity extends far beyond Japan. His books are not only bestsellers in Japan but also internationally, with translations available in over 50 languages. His works have been compared to those of Western authors like Franz Kafka and Gabriel García Márquez.

Which of these Haruki Murakami quotes left an impact on you?

Also Read:

Scroll to Top