May 12, 2020 at 16:52 JST
Haruki Murakami, right, at a talking event in Kumamoto on Feb. 22 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Haruki Murakami, one of Japan’s most acclaimed novelists, will host a radio special to try to lift the nation’s spirits as a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus lingers.
Murakami, whose breakout novel “Norwegian Wood” debuted in 1987, will play favorite songs and welcome listener comments during a “Stay Home Special,” the name evoking a plea from Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike for residents to avoid going out.
“I’m hoping that the power of music can do a little to blow away some of the corona-related blues that have been piling up,” Murakami wrote on a web page promoting the special.
While a nationwide state of emergency is due to last until May 31, officials said some regions may be able to lift restrictions as early as this week if infections are under control. Tokyo, the epicenter of Japan’s outbreak, confirmed 15 new cases on Monday, the first time in 42 days that the daily number has fallen below 20.
Murakami, a perennial favorite for the Nobel Prize in Literature, is a notorious recluse but has hosted his Murakami Radio show every couple of months. As a teenager he developed a passion for jazz and spoke of writing to its beat. He and his wife, Yoko, opened a jazz club while still university students and ran it for seven years.
The Murakami Radio Stay Home Special will play on Tokyo FM 80.0 and 38 stations nationwide on May 22 from 10 p.m. to 11:55 p.m. (1300-1455 GMT).
This special page portrays the dramatic arrest of Carlos Ghosn and the twists and turns that followed.
This special page reviews what the former Nissan Motor Co. chairman left during his 19 years in Japan.
Baseball star Ichiro Suzuki had much to say on March 21, the day he hung up his spikes.
This special page details how journalists uncovered shady transactions through Bermuda and other tax havens.
Here are reports about efforts in Japan and abroad to achieve the U.N. sustainable development goals.