Haruki Murakami exhibits her vast 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, unassuming tone that characterizes his non-fiction. “Maybe readers will make an unexpected discovery, 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?” This 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.

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.” Law: 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 worried about time and you’re in a rush, 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.


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