From the moment of my birth, I lived with pain at the center of my life. My only purpose in life was to find a way to coexist with intense pain.
My short stories are like soft shadows I have set out in the world, faint footprints I have left. I remember exactly where I set down each and every one of them, and how I felt when I did. Short stories are like guideposts to my heart.
Is that what you see in my eyes, that you know nothing about me?
Nothing is written in your eyes. I replied.
It is written in my eyes and i see the reflection in yours.
There is an instinctive withdrawal for the sake of preservation, a closure that assumes the order of completion. Winter is a season unto itself.
I even felt a touch of sympathy for the difficulties he had faced in his life, however stupid and repulsive the shape of that life might appear to me.
I'll never see them again. I know that. And they know that. And knowing this, we say farewell.
Beyond the edge of the world there's a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop. And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever heard.
Not just beautiful, though -- the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching me.
It's a question of attitude. If you really work at something you can do it up to a point. If you really work at being happy you can do it up to a point. But anything more than that you can't. Anything more than that is luck.
I've decided to make myself strong. As far as I can tell, that's all I can do.
What a difference a day makes.
One day at a time.
You're tired and scared. Happens to everyone, okay? Just don't let your feet stop.
I keep this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it's a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.
To keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm.
The silence is so deep it hurts our ears.
Deep rivers run quiet.
The stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching me.
When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in.
When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.
The answer is dreams. Dreaming on and on. Entering the world of dreams and never coming out. Living in dreams for the rest of time.
I'm not very good at giving anyone a clear no.
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.
People just disappear sometimes. You have to love and appreciate them while they're near you.
Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can't buy.
It's like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.
I don't want to express my opinion about actual politics, because if I do, I have to be responsible for my decision.
In my younger days, I was trying to write sophisticated prose and fantastic stories.
I had no ambition to be a writer because the books I read were too good, my standards were too high.
Mere humans who root through their refrigerators at three o'clock in the morning can only produce writing that matches what they do. And that includes me.
I like to read books. I like to listen to music.
I don't know how many good books I still have in me; I hope there are another four or five.
It is hard to be an individual in Japan.
I am 55 years old now. It takes three years to write one book. I don't know how many books I will be able to write before I die. It is like a countdown. So with each book I am praying -- please let me live until I am finished.
Whenever I write a novel, I have a strong sense that I am doing something I was unable to do before. With each new work, I move up a step and discover something new inside me.
I have no models in Japanese literature. I created my own style, my own way.
Some people think literature is high culture and that it should only have a small readership. I don't think so... I have to compete with popular culture, including TV, magazines, movies and video games.
Young people these days don't trust anything at all. They want to be free.
You know, if you are kind of rich, the best thing is that you don't have to think about money. The best thing you can buy with money is freedom, time. I don't know how much I earn a year. I have no idea. I don't know how much I pay in taxes.
I didn't read so much Japanese literature. Because my father was a teacher of Japanese literature, I just wanted to do something else.
Team sports aren't my thing. I find it easier to pick something up if I can do it at my own speed. And you don't need a partner to go running, you don't need a particular place, like in tennis, just a pair of trainers.
I think history is collective memories. In writing, I'm using my own memory, and I'm using my collective memory.
Writing is fun -- at least mostly. I write for four hours every day. After that I go running. As a rule, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). That's easy to manage.
I could have been a cult writer if I'd kept writing surrealistic novels. But I wanted to break into the mainstream, so I had to prove that I could write a realistic book.
I know how fiction matters to me, because if I want to express myself, I have to make up a story. Some people call it imagination. To me, it's not imagination. It's just a way of watching.
Most near-future fictions are boring. It's always dark and always raining, and people are so unhappy.
As long as possible, I would really like to complete one marathon per year. Though my time has been slowing down as I get older, it has become a very important part of my life.
When I am writing, I do not distinguish between the natural and supernatural. Everything seems real. That is my world, you could say.
I began running on an everyday basis after I became a writer. As being a writer requires sitting at a desk for hours a day, without getting some exercise you'd quickly get out of shape and gain weight, I figured.
I didn't want to be a writer, but I became one. And now I have many readers, in many countries. I think that's a miracle. So I think I have to be humble regarding this ability. I'm proud of it and I enjoy it, and it is strange to say it this way, but I respect it.
My father belongs to the generation that fought the war in the 1940s. When I was a kid my father told me stories -- not so many, but it meant a lot to me. I wanted to know what happened then, to my father's generation. It's a kind of inheritance, the memory of it.
Stories lie deep in our souls. Stories lie so deep at the bottom of our hearts that they can bring people together on the deepest level. When I write a novel, I go into such depths.
Concentration is one of the happiest things in my life.
Most young people were getting jobs in big companies, becoming company men. I wanted to be individual.
I've run the Boston Marathon 6 times before. I think the best aspects of the marathon are the beautiful changes of the scenery along the route and the warmth of the people's support. I feel happier every time I enter this marathon.
I'm not a fast thinker, but once I am interested in something, I am doing it for many years.
Many people, especially young people, would like to be more independent and on their own. But it is very difficult and they suffer from feelings of isolation. I think that is one reason why young readers support my work.
Confidence, as a teenager? Because I knew what I loved. I loved to read; I loved to listen to music; and I loved cats. Those three things. So, even though I was an only kid, I could be happy because I knew what I loved.
If you remember me, then I don't care if everyone else forgets.
I lost some of my friends because I got so famous, people who just assumed that I would be different now. I felt like everyone hated me. That is the most unhappy time of my life.
Everything passes. Nobody gets anything for keeps. And that's how we've got to live.