In these essays that were initially published in a Japanese men's fashion magazine, the author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle reflects on his expansive t-shirt collection, regaling readers with tales about how he came to own specific shirts and contemplating the general pleasures of this wardrobe staple.
I find the writer Haruki Murakami’s closet of T-shirts fascinating ... a lightweight book titled Murakami T: The T-shirts I Love, is part ode, part exhibit that reads with restrained affection for his accidental accumulations ... In deadpan essays originally published in the Japanese men’s fashion magazine Popeye, the author carefully recounts the stories behind each tee ... The diaristic entries have the simplicity of a show-and-tell, with Murakami’s spare prose offering a material history of his closet. The writer turns into a taxonomist, categorizing his wardrobe by theme: whiskey, record stores, lizards and turtles, literature ... these tees excavate an intimate history. The choices we make about what we find and keep point to our interior worlds ... Murakami’s understated love letters to his tees also convey how we give life to our things and vice versa.
Murakami’s charming, utterly self-effacing eccentricity—one of the hallmarks of his fiction—shines brightly here, as he goes through his shirts (many of which are stored in cardboard boxes), sorting by theme, concluding that his favorites fall into a category he calls 'meaning unknown.' Naturally, the text, which began as a series of magazine articles, is fully illustrated, allowing us to do our own virtual fondling.