“Tony Takitani used every spare minute for work. Without any hobbies to drain his resources, he managed by the time he was thirty-five to amass a small fortune. He let people talk him into buying a big house in an affluent Setagaya suburb, and he owned several apartments that brought him rental income. His accountant took care of all the paperwork.
By this point in his life, Tony Takitani had been involved with several different women. He had even, when he was still young, lived with one of them for a short while. But he never considered marriage, never saw the need of it. The cooking, the cleaning, the laundry he could manage for himself, and when work interfered with those things, he hired a housekeeper. He never felt a desire to have children. He had no close friends of the kind who would come to him for advice or to confess secrets, not even one to drink with. Not that he was a hermit, either. He lacked his father’s special charm, but he had perfectly normal relationships with people he saw on a daily basis. There was nothing arrogant or boastful about him. He never made excuses for himself or spoke slightingly of others. Rather than talk about himself, what he enjoyed most was to listen to what others had to say. And so just about everybody who knew him liked him. Still, it was impossible for him to form relationships which went beyond the level of the sheer everyday. His father he would see no more than once in two or three years on some matter of business. And when the business was concluded, neither man had much to say to the other. Thus, Tony Takitani’s life went by, reposefully and calmly. I’ll probably never marry, he thought to himself.”
— Haruki Murakami, “Tony Takitani” (translated by Jay Rubin), Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman