Words That Whipped Me into Shape

by Mariru Harada


239 pages / October 2014 / 1,400 yen(w/o tax)

The surprising debut of an unlikely philosophy idol
Philosophical teachings written in a funny, biographical way


Why is it so difficult to live in this world? It’s hard to explain why living a normal life without feeling out of place or losing our way is so difficult. There are many people who deal with these very same problems. Mariru Harada, the author of this book, once struggled with these feelings as well. Then, when she was a high school student she came across a philosophy book that would change her life. The words of encouragement that she discovered in that unconventional philosophy book shined great light into her life and gave her the strength she needed to live the way she wanted. How is it that Harada, a former top promotional model and teen idol, was able to provide us with such an insightful, humorously written biographical account based on her own experiences in her very first written work?

From the table of contents

– It isn’t a lack of effort that makes life difficult
– Love is both a tragedy and a comedy
– Sadomasochism is a psychological battle of wits
– Not wanting to be a bad person is hypocritical
– How to cope when you feel you’re about to break down
– Many philosophers are so-called perverts
– Why do fans get angry when teen idols find love?
– It’s easier to feel pain than it is to feel happiness
– You can’t run away from cruel choices and decisions
– Is it okay to be happy at the expense of others?
– Why do good intentions bring bad results?
– Life is a series of unexpected developments and mid-course adjustments

From the editor

The most gratifying thing about my career as an editor is being introduced to new talent. I was introduced to the amazing Mariru Harada on Facebook by another author. Harada’s words pack quite a punch -– they are hard hitting yet at the same time possess a delicacy in delivery and rhythm. She draws you in, makes you laugh, and keeps your interest. I know you’ll feel as strongly about her work as I do!


Mariru Harada

Mariru Harada is a philosopher who was born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1985. As a child, she often played at “Philosopher’s Walk,” a path that follows a cherry-tree-lined canal in Kyoto. She dropped out of Kyoto Women’s University, but while still in school she was active as a performer, winning the “Race Queen of the Year” prize in 2005. After becoming the first idol to represent the popular “ChoroQ” toy as “Miss ChoroQ,” she performed in the cross-dressing band Fudanjuku, in which the female performers dress like men, until 2013. Her hobbies include alpine skiing, go-karting, boxing, and Japanese manga. At one point, she was so into cars that she considered obtaining a license that would allow her to race. Also, having once had a collection of Japanese manga numbering over 13,000, she works on the “Cartoon Grand Prize” selection committee and writes comic book reviews for newspapers nationwide.
She currently hosts events at her own Harada Mariru Philosophy Cafe, where she teaches philosophy drawing on her own experiences since her high school days. Based on her background, she’s referred to as a “philosophy idol.” Furthermore, using her knowledge of character-based typology such as the Enneagram, she is currently conducting research targeting individuals and corporations on personal guidance, in line with her philosophical teachings, that takes into account individual aptitude.