30 Pieces Of Wisdom From Haruki Murakami Books

The Yoda of Japanese literature, Haruki Murakami has some vital life lessons he'd like to share with you.

In a career that's spanned four decades and produced countless books, novels and essays, Haruki Murakami's firmly established himself as a leading light of postmodern fiction, both his native Japan and across the globe. So much so, that if you merely scratch at the surface of his work, nuggets of knowledge will tumble out.

But fear not, we won't test your foreign language skills by presenting them in their original form - that, admittedly, would be quite a slog. Instead, here are 30 fully translated and entirely relatable pieces of philosophy from the pages of Murakami's work.

どういたしまして (that's you're welcome, in case you're wondering).

(Images: Rex)

  • Norwegian Wood (1987)

    Norwegian Wood (1987)

    “Death is not the opposite of life, but an innate part of… More details

    Norwegian Wood (1987)

    Norwegian Wood (1987)

    “Death is not the opposite of life, but an innate part of life.”

  • Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    “When you come out of a storm, you won't be the same… More details

    Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    “When you come out of a storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what the storm is about.”

  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985)

    Hard-Boiled Wonderland and …

    “Whiskey, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation.… More details

    Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985)

    Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985)

    “Whiskey, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation. You gaze first, then it's time to drink.”

  • 1Q84 (2011)

    1Q84 (2011)

    “If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one… More details

    1Q84 (2011)

    1Q84 (2011)

    “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.”

  • Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    “Mediocrity's like a spot on a shirt—it never comes… More details

    Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    “Mediocrity's like a spot on a shirt—it never comes off.”

  • South of the Border, West of the Sun (1992)

    South of the Border, West o…

    “Even castles in the sky can do with a fresh coat of… More details

    South of the Border, West of the Sun (1992)

    South of the Border, West of the Sun (1992)

    “Even castles in the sky can do with a fresh coat of paint.”

  •  Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    “Remove everything pointless from an imperfect life and… More details

     Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    “Remove everything pointless from an imperfect life and it’d lose even its imperfection.”

  • A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    “A friend to kill time is a friend sublime.” More details

    A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    “A friend to kill time is a friend sublime.”

  • After Dark (2004)

    After Dark (2004)

    “If you really want to know something, you have to be… More details

    After Dark (2004)

    After Dark (2004)

    “If you really want to know something, you have to be willing to pay the price.”

  •  The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997)

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle…

    “A person's destiny is something you look back at… More details

     The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997)

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997)

    “A person's destiny is something you look back at afterwards, not something to be known in advance.”

  • Pinball, 1973 (1980)

    Pinball, 1973 (1980)

    “When it's all over, it'll seem like a dream.” More details

    Pinball, 1973 (1980)

    Pinball, 1973 (1980)

    “When it's all over, it'll seem like a dream.”

  • Norwegian Wood (1987)

    Norwegian Wood (1987)

    “If you only read the books that everyone else is… More details

    Norwegian Wood (1987)

    Norwegian Wood (1987)

    “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

  • Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    “Love can rebuild the world, they say, so everything's… More details

    Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    “Love can rebuild the world, they say, so everything's possible when it comes to love.”

  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985)

    Hard-Boiled Wonderland and …

    “It takes years to build up, it takes moments to… More details

    Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985)

    Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985)

    “It takes years to build up, it takes moments to destroy.”

  • 1Q84 (2011)

    1Q84 (2011)

    “Nobody's easier to fool, than the person who is… More details

    1Q84 (2011)

    1Q84 (2011)

    “Nobody's easier to fool, than the person who is convinced that he is right.”

  • Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    “Possibilities are like cancer. The more [you] think… More details

    Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    “Possibilities are like cancer. The more [you] think about them, the more they multiply, and there's no way to stop them.”

  • South of the Border, West of the Sun (1992)

    South of the Border, West o…

    “No one could say how long that life would last. Whatever… More details

    South of the Border, West of the Sun (1992)

    South of the Border, West of the Sun (1992)

    “No one could say how long that life would last. Whatever has form can disappear in an instant.”

  • Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    “Judging the mistakes of strangers is an easy thing to do… More details

    Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    “Judging the mistakes of strangers is an easy thing to do - and it feels pretty good.”

  • A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    “To get irritated is to lose our way in life.” More details

    A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    “To get irritated is to lose our way in life.”

  • After Dark (2004)

    After Dark (2004)

    “In this world, there are things you can only do alone,… More details

    After Dark (2004)

    After Dark (2004)

    “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.”

  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997)

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle …

    “Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your… More details

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997)

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997)

    “Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can't buy.”

  • Norwegian Wood (1987)

    Norwegian Wood (1987)

    “Don't feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.” More details

    Norwegian Wood (1987)

    Norwegian Wood (1987)

    “Don't feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.”

  • Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    “Each person feels pain in his own way, each has his own… More details

    Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    Kafka on the Shore (2002)

    “Each person feels pain in his own way, each has his own scars.”

  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985)

    Hard-Boiled Wonderland and …

    “Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's… More details

    Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985)

    Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985)

    “Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's [your] own to fool with.”

  • 1Q84 (2011)

    1Q84 (2011)

    “Life is so uncertain: you never know what could happen.… More details

    1Q84 (2011)

    1Q84 (2011)

    “Life is so uncertain: you never know what could happen. One way to deal with that is to keep your pajamas washed.”

  • Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    “People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than… More details

    Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    Dance Dance Dance (1988)

    “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. It's too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies.”

  • Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    “Understanding is but the sum of misunderstandings.” More details

    Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    Sputnik Sweetheart (2001)

    “Understanding is but the sum of misunderstandings.”

  • A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    “Generally, people who are good at writing letters have… More details

    A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

    “Generally, people who are good at writing letters have no need to write letters. They've got plenty of life to lead inside their own context.”

  • South of the Border, West of the Sun (1992)

    South of the Border, West o…

    “'For a while' is a phrase whose length can't be… More details

    South of the Border, West of the Sun (1992)

    South of the Border, West of the Sun (1992)

    “'For a while' is a phrase whose length can't be measured. At least by the person who's waiting.”

  • Pinball, 1973 (1980)

    Pinball, 1973 (1980)

    “Enough with these stupid metaphors. They don't do any… More details

    Pinball, 1973 (1980)

    Pinball, 1973 (1980)

    “Enough with these stupid metaphors. They don't do any good.”

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