Hurakami’s Speech during Awards


Haruki Murakami is a Japanese novelist who won Hans Christian Anderson Literature Award, while receiving the award he warned against rewriting history and excluding the outsiders. Murakami is a 19 century fairy tale writer, from Odense, Denmark. “The Meaning of Shadows is a speech he wrote depicted Andersen’s dark fantasy “The Shadow”. The story was about a scholar who is eventually killed by his own shadow.

Murakami said that regardless of how high our walls are, how high standards we set to keep away the intruders, and how strictly we manage to rewrite history to fit well with us; it will eventually harm and hurt us.

His speech was abstract, but the Japanese deciphered the wall and intruders as refugees who are entering Europe and the response from the protectionists they are getting. Murakami in his speech highlights that it is not just the humans who face shadows but the nations face it too. The speech was published by Asahi Newspaper.

Murakami at the age of 67, is shy to face the audience, but he definitely has voiced his concerns regarding nuclear energy and global peace. After he finished college he hit start his writing career alongside jazz bar in Tokyo. His hit bestseller came out in 1987, a romantic novel “Norwegian wood” making him a young star in the literary world. His current work which are also bestsellers include “1Q84” and “colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.”

When Murakami was chosen by the award committee, they specifically said that imagination is rich to the extent where he can mix different forms of art and Japanese tradition along with philosophy, he fits perfectly well in to the legacy of Andersen.

The award received by Murakami is worth $74000 that is 500,000 Danish Kroner, along with a diploma and a bronze sculpture. The previous authors who won the award are J.K. Rowling writer of “Harry Potter and Salman Rushdie, the writer of “The Satanic Verses” and “Midnight’s Children.”

Murakami closed his speech referring to rewriting history and how negatively it can affect the nations. He said that the stories can teach us a lot and one must learn to live with their shadow, in order to deter it from growing strong and big and coming back to bite yet again.


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