10 Common Themes Of Murakami Novels - And What They Mean

Delving deeper into Haruki Murakami's wonderfully weird world.


Not to be confused with Ryu Murakami (Audition and Piercing), beloved Japanese best-selling author Haruki Murakami is a common favourite amongst literature lovers, with his books selling millions of copies around the world.

Publishing an array of novels, short stories, and non-fiction works, Murakami's rich library has seen him achieve numerous accolades throughout his over fifty-year career. With notable early entries including the likes of Pinball, 1979 A Wild Sheep Chase, and the incredible Norwegian Wood which launched him to recognition, the author has continued to pen even more fantastical outings from the short stories in After The Quake to fan-favourites Kafka On The Shore and 1Q84, and his most recent novel Killing Commendatore.

Like many other artists, Murakami has a distinctive and recognisable writing style. Just as Stephen King's work is often set in Maine and deals with childhood trauma, Murakami is known for drawing upon various themes and including certain things in his writing that distinguish him from other authors.

But what exactly are these common themes and, more importantly, what sort of role do they play within Murakami's work? Here's everything you need to know.


Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Master's degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.