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.
1. Death is not the opposite of life, but an innate part of life.”
2. “When you come out of a storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm is about.”
3.“Whiskey, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation. You gaze first, then it’s time to drink.”
4.“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.”
5.“Mediocrity’s like a spot on a shirt—it never comes off.”
6.“Even castles in the sky can do with a fresh coat of paint.”
7.“Remove everything pointless from an imperfect life and it’d lose even its imperfection.”
8.“A friend to kill time is a friend sublime.”
9.“If you really want to know something, you have to be willing to pay the price.
10.“A person’s destiny is something you look back at afterwards, not something to be known in advance.”
11.“When it’s all over, it’ll seem like a dream.”
12.“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
13.“Love can rebuild the world, they say, so everything’s possible when it comes to love.”
14.“It takes years to build up, it takes moments to destroy.”
15.“Nobody’s easier to fool, than the person who is convinced that he is right.”
16.“Possibilities are like cancer. The more [you] think about them, the more they multiply, and there’s no way to stop them.”
17.“No one could say how long that life would last. Whatever has form can disappear in an instant.”
18.“Judging the mistakes of strangers is an easy thing to do - and it feels pretty good.”
19.“To get irritated is to lose our way in life.”
20.“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.”
21.“Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy.”
22.“Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.”
23.“Each person feels pain in his own way, each has his own scars.”
24.“Life’s no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe’s [your] own to fool with.”
25.“Life is so uncertain: you never know what could happen. One way to deal with that is to keep your pajamas washed.”
26.“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.”
27.“Understanding is but the sum of misunderstandings.”
28.“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.”
29.“’For a while’ is a phrase whose length can’t be measured. At least by the person who’s waiting.”
30.“Enough with these stupid metaphors. They don’t do any good.”