Haruki Murakami Best Quotes 💬

Haruki Murakami has captivated readers around the world with his unique storytelling and thought-provoking quotes.

Haruki Murakami

Japanese Writer

His works seamlessly blend elements of magical realism, existential ponderings, and emotional depth, creating a literary universe that leaves a lasting impact on those who engage with his writing.

Within his novels, interviews, and essays, Murakami has shared profound insights and contemplations on truth, learning, life and death, and the human experience.


No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.

These lines are from ‘Norwegian Wood,’ which is generally considered to be one of the author’s best books. This novel, published in 1987, is one of Murakami’s most renowned and popular works, exploring themes of love, loss, and the complexities of human relationships.

In these lines, Murakami delves into the profound sorrow experienced when losing a loved one. He suggests that there is no ultimate truth or remedy that can alleviate the pain caused by such a loss. No matter how sincere, strong, or kind one may be, these qualities alone cannot cure the sorrow.

I think that my job is to observe people and the world, and not to judge them. I always hope to position myself away from so-called conclusions. I would like to leave everything wide open to all the possibilities in the world.

This quote is from an interview in The Paris Review. Murakami states that he sees his job as an observer rather than a judge. This implies that his role as a writer is to keenly observe the complexities of human behavior, society, and the world without imposing his own personal judgments or biases. 

Instead of rushing to conclusions or passing judgment, Murakami takes a more open and receptive stance toward the subjects he explores in his writing.


The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.

This line is from the author’s memoir ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.’ It carries a thought-provoking message about the limitations of formal education and the value of life experiences beyond the classroom.

At a surface level, the quote suggests that while schools and educational institutions provide valuable knowledge and skills, they often fall short when it comes to teaching the most crucial aspects of life.


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.

These lines are from ‘Dance, Dance, Dance.’ In these lines, Murakami reflects on the fragile nature of life and the importance of treating others with care and sincerity. 

He suggests that death is a common occurrence, and life itself is more delicate and fleeting than we often realize. Therefore, it is crucial to interact with others in a way that avoids regrets.

Murakami points out that it is all too easy to neglect this effort and then, after someone’s passing, to lament and express remorse. The quote serves as a reminder to seize the opportunity to treat others with kindness, understanding, and respect while they are still present in our lives.


I’ve translated a lot of American literature into Japanese, and I think that what makes a good translator is, above all, a feel for language and also a great affection for the work you’re translating. If one of those elements is missing the translation won’t be worth much.

In this quote, Murakami discusses his experience as a translator of American literature into Japanese. He highlights two essential qualities that he believes are crucial for a good translator: a feel for language and a great affection for the work being translated.

Murakami suggests if you are either missing a “feel for language” or “great affection for the work you’re translating,” the resulting translation may not be of high value. 

Without a strong feel for language, the translation may lack accuracy, coherence, or elegance. Without affection for the work, the translation might lack the passion and depth necessary to capture the essence of the original text.

I don’t know a whole lot about symbolism. There seems to me to be a potential danger in symbolism. I feel more comfortable with metaphors and similes.

This quote reflects Haruki Murakami’s personal viewpoint on symbolism and his preference for metaphors and similes. Murakami is known for his intricate use of symbolism in his works, where objects, events, and characters often carry deeper meanings or represent abstract concepts.

In the quote, Murakami acknowledges that he doesn’t possess extensive knowledge about symbolism, suggesting that he might approach it with caution or reservation. He implies that there could be a potential danger in relying too heavily on symbolism, although he does not elaborate on what that danger might be.


What is Murakami known for?

Haruki Murakami is known for his blend of literary genres and his distinct storytelling style. He has gained international acclaim for his works, which often explore themes of alienation, identity, existentialism, the nature of reality, and the complexities of human relationships.

What kind of novels does Murakami write? 

In his works, Murakami combines a realistic portrayal of contemporary Japan with elements of fantasy, folklore, and mythology. His writing often features a first-person narrative perspective, allowing readers to intimately experience the inner thoughts and emotions of his characters.

What is the best quote from Haruki Murakami’s ‘Norwegian Wood?’

A very famous quote from this novel is, “No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one.”

What does Murakami say about love?

Murakami says a great deal about love, including the quote, “Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves.”

Emma Baldwin
About Emma Baldwin
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues on Book Analysis.
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