Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami said Saturday writing good stories is the best he can do for victims of terrorist attacks and natural disasters such as the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
“I was wondering what could I do for the people who have suffered. But I thought, ‘What I can do is to write good fiction,’” he said during an event in New York, referring to a number of tragedies, including the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States and the disaster that devastated parts of Japan’s Tohoku region.
Murakami, 69, said that after the 1995 earthquake that destroyed much of his hometown of Kobe, he “just wanted to write something” and penned a collection of short stories.
He also explained how he wrote the book “Underground” about the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system by the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult.
After four years of being in the United States, “I came back to Japan after the earthquake in Kobe and the train attack,” he said. “I felt that I should have come home so there should be something I could do for the people, not for the country.”
“After all, when I write a good story, good fiction, we can understand each other if you are a reader and I’m a writer,” Murakami added.
Although Murakami and his readers may not know each other, “there is a special secret passage between us, and we can send a message to each other,” he said. “So I think (writing good stories) is a way I can contribute to society or people in the world.” Read more