Haruki Murakami exhibits his huge collection of t-shirts

Haruki Murakami thinks he owns about 200 T-shirts. Award-winning author of novels Kill the Commander and The Chronicle of the Bird to be reassembled, and over 50 other books, had no intention of collecting T’s – they just stacked up. “When I meet an interesting one, I buy it on a whim,” he says. His new book, Murakami T: The T-shirts I love, by Knopf, compiles his favorites and the stories behind them in the straightforward, unpretentious tone that characterizes his non-fiction. “Maybe readers will make some unexpected discoveries, like, I see, novelists also shop at thrift stores and buy used t-shirts for $ 3,” he says. “Even a novelist has to wear something, right? Below, he talks about style, substance and American beer.

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Portrait: Dominik Butzmann / laif / Redux

Vanity Fair: Do you remember the first T-shirt that made you think, I have to buy this? How was it ?

Haruki Murakami: The one I remember the most is the Champion Plug T-shirt. I bought it when I was about 18 years old. I really liked it and wore it a lot. Recently i watched the movie Once upon a time … in Hollywood, and Brad pitt was wearing the exact same T-shirt. It brought back good memories.

What’s the most memorable interaction you’ve had with a stranger based on a t-shirt you wore?

I don’t remember any particularly memorable interactions, but when I lived in the United States and walked down the street, people would often ask me, “Where did you buy this shirt?” That wouldn’t happen in Tokyo. I guess that’s a difference between the two cultures. When I tell them things like, “Oh, this one? I bought it in Shibuya in Tokyo ”, they are a little disappointed.

To the left: “The Norwegian forest the shirts were made by a British publisher, ”writes Murakami in The T-shirts that I love. “They admired the way the Japanese editions were published in two volumes, one red and one green. ” Environment: A reader based in the United States sent this Chronicle of birds to be traced–Shirt inspired by Murakami in Japan after reading the novel. “I love this one,” he wrote, “and I actually wear it quite often. ” To the right: The author describes collecting this shirt at a concert in Honolulu: “The Beach Boys and Hawaii seemed like the perfect couple, but the audience didn’t really
get into it.
Yasutomo Ebisu / Knopf

When you walk into a thrift store, what is your strategy for hunting down T-shirts? How do you do it?

It is important to take the time to choose. If you’re scared of time and in a hurry, you’ll miss out on some real finds. Having a lot of free time, more than you know what to do with it, is the key, especially if you want to have a collection.

Why do you think you have a hard time getting rid of things in general and T-shirts in particular?

I collect T-shirts and LPs, but not books. I get rid of most books after reading them. I’m a novelist, so why are t-shirts more important to me than books? It’s a difficult question for me to answer.

How does autobiographical writing compare to writing fiction?

I find it hard to write fiction unless I say to myself, okay, it’s time to write fiction! When I’m not in the mood for writing fiction, I find myself at my desk just writing. Like a musician practicing his instrument. Since writing is something I just love to do. This is how this book of T-shirts was born. I enjoyed writing it and hope people find it just as enjoyable to read.

Elizabeth J. Harless