World-famous Japanese author has no fear of missing out.

Recently, fans of fashion and literature got a happy surprise when Uniqlo released a line of T-shirts inspired by the writings of world-renowned Japanese author Haruki Murakami. In what also may also be a surprise to some, Uniqlo has its own lifestyle magazine, called LifeWear, and it recently sat down for an interview with the 72-year-old writer.

Naturally, clothing was one of the things they discussed. “What sort of people do you look at and think “Ah, they’re fashionable?’” he was asked, to which he replied “I like when people who can wear just ordinary clothing comfortably. I don’t have much concern for people who get boxed in by brand names, and then it’s like the clothes are wearing them instead.”

But with Murakami’s famously wide and eclectic range of interests, the conversation went beyond clothing, and at one point the subject of social media came up. While Murakami previously ran a blog where he took questions on any and all topics from fans around the globe, he’s not a social media fan. “I’ve heard you never look at any social media, but why is that?” the interviewer asked, and Murakami didn’t mince words in his answer:

“Generally speaking, the quality of writing isn’t very good. Reading good writing and listening to good music are incredibly important things in life. So, to phrase it from the other way around, there’s nothing better than not listening to bad music and not reading bad writing.”

Murakami’s blunt assessment of the quality of prose to be found on social media hasn’t stemmed the flow of Twitter commenting, though, where reactions to his words have included:

“I agree with him, and I’d like actual websites to go back to being the main way people express themselves online.”
“I get what he’s saying, but I wonder if you can write a modern novel without seeing how people interact on social media?”
“I don’t believe he really doesn’t use any social media. He’s got to at least look at Twitter sometimes…[and] I bet he’d really like Clubhouse.”
“Obviously he doesn’t use social media. Would you ask a famous manga artist ‘Do you follow cool illustrators on Pixiv?’ A professional author, let alone a world-class one, isn’t going to spend time reading drivel.”
“Isn’t he just making excuses if he’s saying he doesn’t like something without giving it a chance?”
“Well, unless he’s talking about indecipherable grammar, what is and isn’t ‘bad writing’ is a matter of personal taste, like how I myself don’t care for his books.”

There’s a legitimate argument to be made that setting a novel in the modern day without social media having any impact on the plot or characters might make for an unusual, unrealistic story. But then again, Murakami has never been known for giving reality complete authority over his narratives, and so it’s likely he’ll continue to feel no pressure to give social media his time.

Source: LifeWear via Twitter/@zpURgBiknqlC0yK via Otakomu, Twitter
Top image: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
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