Waseda University, one of the most prestigious centers for academia in Japan, is adding another string to its bow with a brand new library in 2021. The Waseda International House of Literature (aka the Murakami Library) will host the work of novelist Haruki Murakami, one of its most famous alumnus. The writer's personal archive, which he kindly donated to the university, will be housed in the library. In addition, visitors can also read a collection of his novels that have been translated into many other languages.
The person behind the renovation of the university's building No 4 is none other than legendary Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who is also responsible for the Japan National Stadium, which is ready and waiting for next year's Tokyo Olympics. Kuma and Murakami are renowned in their respective fields and this stellar duo makes the library one of next year's most anticipated architectural arrivals.
Kuma has envisaged the Waseda International House of Literature as a place for discussion rather than the traditional hushed and silent structures of most formal libraries. He also hopes that Murakami himself will visit for events and discussions regarding his revered literary output that has made him a Nobel Prize for Literature candidate for years on end.
Murakami’s last novel (translated into English) was 2018's blockbuster, "Killing Commendatore." His legion of devotees awaits the translation of his latest work, a collection of stories titled "First Person Singular," due in early 2021.