The Surreal Realism of Haruki Murakami: 10 Quotes That Illuminate Life’s Mysteries

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What’s up with you earthlings? How is life treating you guys today? Well, I am ok, couldn’t be better in fact, what with sharing some of my “favourite thingies” with you, because I want that you all glide alongside me, entering the captivating world of Haruki Murakami, a literary genius known for his unique ability to blend the surreal with the real.

You know, it was the year 2020—the pandemic one, to be specific—that first brought me closer to Murakami’s pieces of writing. I had always heard that he was a master writer, a magician of sorts for bringing about surreal realism in his words, but 2020 was my first rendezvous with his voice. And boy, was I blown away or what!

As readers, we often seek literature that offers an escape from the mundane, but in Murakami’s works, I always feel, we find something more profound—an exploration of life’s mysteries through the lens of surreal realism. So, prepare today, to embark on a journey with me, to discover 10 of Haruki Murakami’s most thought-provoking quotes that transcend the ordinary and illuminate the profound mysteries of existence. 

  • 1

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.

In this mesmerizing quote from “Kafka on the Shore,” Murakami contemplates the transformative power of life’s trials and tribulations. He gracefully acknowledges that the storms we endure change us, moulding us into individuals of deeper resilience and understanding. The surreal imagery of the storm mirrors the unpredictable nature of our experiences, leaving us questioning whether we will truly ever return to our pre-storm selves.

This TBH, is one of my favourite quotes by him since I feel that it has the uncanny ability to push me whenever I feel down and about.

  • 2.

If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.

From the critically acclaimed novel “Norwegian Wood,” this quote delves into the intricacies of memory and connection. Murakami emphasizes the significance of personal connections and the profound impact they can have on our lives. In this surreal yet relatable sentiment, he reminds us that the power of a single person’s memory can transcend the fading recognition of the masses. Oh yes, don’t we all agree that there is always that one person who, consciously or otherwise, has the power to work wonders on us?

  • 3.

The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory.

Through the enigmatic words in “Dance Dance Dance,” Murakami challenges our perception of time and reality. He brilliantly highlights how the past and the future intertwine in the present, making every moment a sum of our memories. This quote beckons us to ponder the essence of existence, where every sensation is a blend of what was and what will be. Mindfulness is what comes to mind whenever I think of his words huh! Tiny packets that pack a punch…

  • 4.

Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.

In his novel “Kafka on the Shore,” Murakami explores the duality of memories. Like a double-edged sword, memories have the power to bring comfort and solace, yet they can also stir emotions that cause heartache and inner turmoil. This profound insight reminds us that even the most cherished memories can be bittersweet. Ah, I tell you, Murakami has another story altogether, his way with words is profound as well as overwhelmingly uncanny sometimes, threatening to push you over the edge of an abyss, and yet, there you will be gliding alongside him, waiting to fly away to someplace.

  • 5.

No matter how far you travel, you can never get away from yourself.

In “After Dark,” Murakami presents a thought-provoking reflection on self-discovery and the inescapable nature of one’s own identity. The surreal notion of being unable to escape oneself serves as a reminder that true transformation comes from within, regardless of our physical journeys. I agree with this. I always feel one cannot shake off that feeling of being away from oneself for long. Eventually, you have to meet the eyes of the person who looks back at you in the mirror. Oh yeah, time to rendezvous with yourself.

  • 6.

Closing your eyes isn’t going to change anything. Nothing’s going to disappear just because you can’t see what’s going on.”

In “1Q84,” Murakami offers a powerful perspective on confronting reality. He urges us to face life head-on, as closing our eyes to the truth won’t make problems vanish. The surreal imagery juxtaposed with the stark reality serves as a reminder to embrace life’s challenges with courage and openness. Oh yeah, many a time, I, for one, do it, simply avoiding things. But hey, just because one closes their eyes doesn’t mean, it is night, and you can possibly sleep over a challenge, right? Get up and face the elephant!

  • 7.

In dreams, you don’t need to make any distinctions between things. Not at all. Boundaries don’t exist. So in dreams, there are hardly any limits.

In “South of the Border, West of the Sun,” Murakami’s exploration of dreams blurs the lines between reality and imagination. Here, he presents dreams as a realm of infinite possibilities, where the surreal and the real coexist harmoniously. This quote encourages us to embrace the limitless potential of our own dreams and aspirations. Oh yeah, dream big and hard coz you only have one life, so live it to the fullest.

  • 8.

Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That’s part of what it means to be alive.

Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore” offers this poignant reflection on the ephemeral nature of life. The surreal quality lies in the acceptance of life’s impermanence, reminding us that the beauty of existence lies in the fleeting moments and experiences that shape our journey. Murakami has this supreme ability to make us feel disjointed as well as complete, all at once. These words are proof enough!

  • 9.

And once you lose someone, it is never the same person who comes back.

From “Sputnik Sweetheart,” this evocative quote touches on themes of loss and transformation. Murakami’s ability to encapsulate complex emotions with such elegance is a hallmark of his writing. The surreal element emerges as he contemplates the profound changes that occur when someone we love departs from our lives. 

I always feel like Harry thought for Snape in HP, that Snape could read minds, and so can Murakami. Look at this quote, which is proof!

  • 10.

I dream. Sometimes, I think that’s the only right thing to do.

In “Sputnik Sweetheart,” Murakami concludes our journey with a quote that embraces the power of dreams. The surreal significance lies in the notion that dreams hold a special place in our hearts, offering solace, inspiration, and a window into the mysteries of the subconscious mind.

And yes, don’t I loosen the free reins of my hopeless heart, believing in the power of my own dreams, each time I manifest something.


Haruki Murakami’s literary brilliance lies in his unique ability to blend the surreal with the real, providing readers with a fresh perspective on life’s mysteries. Through these ten thought-provoking quotes, we’ve explored the transformative power of experiences, the significance of memories, the enigma of time, and the profound impact of personal connections. Each quote serves as a portal to a realm where the surreal and the real interweave, encouraging us to reflect on the essence of existence and the depth of human emotions.

So, come embrace the surreal realism of Haruki Murakami’s writing, and with eyes wide open, venture forth into the beautifully mysterious landscape of life.

So, I hope you guys liked The Surreal Realism of Haruki Murakami: 10 Quotes That Illuminate Life’s Mysteries.

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Adios Amigos!

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