Manifestations of Creativity: Murakami Haruki as Translator

Motoko Akashi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Murakami Haruki’s translations exhibit the visible influence of his novel writing. There are characteristic similarities between the protagonists in each set of work. These similarities are generated, not only by his use of Murakami buntai, as often discussed by literary critics; but also by translation choices, influenced by his writer’s creativity. This chapter argues that Murakami’s translations can be considered part of his writer’s oeuvre and not as subservient to their source texts, as translation is often perceived. It investigates the creativity in Murakami’s translations by applying the concept of literary translation as ‘life-writing’ (Nikolaou 2006). The chapter studies stylistic similarities between Murakami’s translations and novels, and the motives behind his translation choices, in order to discover how Murakami’s novel writing interacts with his translations. The chapter will ask how this interaction manifests in his translations, and how it might impact the way we understand Murakami’s literary works in general
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMurakami Haruki and Our Years of Pilgrimage
Place of PublicationOxon
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780367181413
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2021


  • Haruki Murakami
  • Creativity and Translation
  • life-writing
  • Japanese translation
  • Writer's Translation
  • Visibility

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