Posted by: bluesyemre | May 12, 2020

#HarukiMurakami to host #lockdown radio show in Japan

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Sharing good times … Haruki Murakami. Photograph: Ali Smith

Novelist and well-known music enthusiast will present the Stay Home Special ‘to blow away some of the corona-related blues’

Much-acclaimed Japanes novelist Haruki Murakami will host a radio special next week to try to lift the nation’s spirits under the coronavirus lockdown.

Murakami, the author of books including Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and a perennial favourite to win a Nobel prize, will play some of his favourite songs and answer listener questions in a two-hour show to air nationwide on 22 May. Called Stay Home Special, the show is named for the Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike’s recent plea for residents to stop going outside.

“I’m hoping that the power of music can do a little to blow away some of the corona-related blues that have been piling up,” Murakami wrote.

While a nationwide state of emergency in Japan is due to last until the end of May, officials said some regions may be able to lift some restrictions as early as this week if infections stay under control. On Monday, Tokyo, the epicentre of Japan’s outbreak, confirmed 15 new cases – the first time in 42 days that the daily number has fallen below 20.

Since 2018, Murakami has sporadically hosted a prerecorded one-hour show on Tokyo FM, with the music enthusiast playing a selection of the 10,000 records in his collection. These have included some jazz – he opened and ran a jazz club with his wife, Yoko, for seven years – and pop music that the marathon runner enjoys while exercising, including the Beach Boys, Joey Ramone and Hall and Oates.

Along with the Mr Murakami’s Place advice column that he ran on his website, the radio shows have been a sign that the author wants more interactions with his fans. Regarded as a recluse in Japan, his shows have been the first time many fans have heard him speak.

“It has been my hobby to collect records and CDs since my childhood, and thanks to that, my house is inundated with such things. However, I have often felt a sense of guilt toward the world while listening to such amazing music and having a good time alone,” Murakami wrote before his first broadcast in 2018. “I thought it may be good to share such good times with other people while chatting over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee.”

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/12/haruki-murakami-to-host-lockdown-radio-show-japan-stay-home-special


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