海辺のカフカ - Kafka on the Shore 🏖 (Advanced Book Club)

So a spoiler of a thematic warning that would be problematic for me came up on another forum here; if anyone reading this thread has read the book before (in any language) could you let me know which chapter this occurs in? I’ll probably read the book but skip that section as I’ve done that before with English books containing similar scenes.


I don’t know if this is the exact part they are referring to, but in this week‘s part, in chapter 10, there was some mention of not very nice things done to cats. To be more specific, one character talked to the other about people cutting off pieces of cats‘ tails with scissors.
This was repeatedly mentioned throughout the second half of the chapter, so it’s quite difficult to say which parts were safe and which weren‘t. I could go look for specific page numbers if you wanted me to.
And as I said, there might be more scenes coming up later in the book as well. Can’t say for sure.


I just did some googling as this is something I’d also be keen to avoid and looks like it’s chapter 16 where people say the very bad scenes of that nature are.


Sounds like a recurring theme which does not bode well for me :sweat: Skipping one chapter and reading the cliff notes is doable for cases when the author, for whatever reason decides to insert it for character development/etc but something more central to the plot will make me a bad book club contributor and also leave me feeling like I didn’t really “read” the book. I’m going to think on it but I might bow out from this club.

Edit: I’ve decided to bow out after also looking at some English reviews of the scene in question.


Sorry to see you go! But I fully understand of course.
Didn’t even know things like these would happen in this book! I mean, Murakami is „famous“ for including weird scenes, but I was expecting them rather in the realm of sexual human interaction…


At the end of this week, we will be crossing the half-time mark! To celebrate this, I will give you some extra time to enjoy this week - next week’s thread will not go up before Sunday night.

jkjk, I’ll be on post JLPT holidays :sunglasses:


Good luck with the jlpt! I’m sure you’ll breeze through it.


Thanks :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Not so sure about the „breeze“ part :sweat_smile: but we‘ll see …


Hey everybody! I’m back, and so let’s jump into the next week without further ado :blush:


Welcome back! How did it go? The people want to know!


Thank you! :blush: It was a great trip, Paris is such a beautiful city, I love it! And I guess I gained 2 kilos from all the delicious food :sweat_smile: At first I spent a few days with @Belerith, then @Myria also joined us, then @Belerith returned home and instead three Japanese friends (who live in Germany) came over, and so every day contained a lot of sightseeing and also chilling and reading in the park and stuff. Oh and I visited BookOff three times :wink: and bought more than 15 Japanese books and also a small handful of French books (as I want to work on improving my French once again).

Or did you rather want to know about JLPT? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
The grammar part was not too bad, I think; the reading part went better than I had feared (I even managed to read everything!) but there’s always a non-zero chance of me misunderstanding something or falling for some words I don’t know or something, so I don’t want to be too sure on that; and listening was rather catastrophic. All in all it felt better than my previous attempt at N2 (where I failed by 2 points) and roughly the same as when I took the lower levels (which I passed each time but not necessarily by a wide margin :grin:). So I think there is a realistic chance that I passed this time, but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if I failed again. We’ll find out in due time…


Thanks for the news! I’m sure you did ok. Do you practice listening at all? I think the one thing that helped me improve my listening skills the most is listening to the 4989 American Life podcast.
I don’t really look at the wanikani forums apart from the book club threads so I didn’t realize you were coming to Paris! You guys need to invite me next time, I would’ve enjoyed meeting up. Is there more than one Book Off with a japanese section btw? I only know the one next to Opera. Sorry if this is all a bit off topic for this thread :upside_down_face:

Some more off-topic chat

Ahem :grin:
Well, I chat with a Japanese friend each week, and we discuss a lot of topics and if I were able to remember all the vocab he regularly throws at me, I’m sure that would be a very good preparation. :sweat_smile:
My general problem is lack of vocab (for reading books as well as for all aspects of JLPT) so my plan is to once again focus on that going forward.
Thanks for the podcast recommendation! I don’t usually listen to podcasts a lot but I would like to change this going forward, so all sorts of recommendations are welcome.

Oh dang! When I wrote my first reply I was like, aren’t you French anyway? in my head, but I would never have dreamed that you actually live in Paris :woman_facepalming: I’m sorry, that was really a wasted opportunity. Will make up for it next time!

Yes, the one next to Opera is the larger one (in terms of everything), and there is also a Junkudo (bookstore with new books) close to it as you probably know (where I bought one super-expensive book that I really want to read but that is pretty rare so I had to bite the bullet). Then there is a BookOff near Châtelet that features a small shelf of Japanese books (in the basement in the far back :sweat_smile:) but please don’t expect too much as it’s a really small number of books that they have.

More off topic-ness

Haha yeah I’m here (in Paris) full-time :slightly_smiling_face: It’s ok though, maybe some other time! I’ll check out the Châtelet BookOff, thanks! I do know the Junku library, I’ve bought some stuff there in the past (including 人間失格 for the book club) but it is pretty expensive.
For listening, if you can get into a habit of listening to podcasts, in my experience it really helps. I like this one in particular a lot because it’s a native podcast but it’s fairly easy to understand, and she provides transcripts on her website (she started doing that after noticing that a lot of Japanese learners listened to it). It’s also very natural conversational japanese and can improve your speaking too. Plus she’s fun to listen to. I got 56/60 for listening at the N1 two years ago and I mostly credit her.


This week is pretty chill - only one chapter, containing only 26 pages.
I hope everybody can get some rest this week or catch up if you’re lagging slightly behind:

I for one will definitely try to catch back up to y’all again :grin:


Length wise, at least :grimacing:


Now that we’re about 4 weeks from the end of this book, I was wondering whether anybody would be interested in reading the second part as an off-shoot book club?
(I feel like there are still lots of speculations to be had for the second part :eyes:)

  • I want to continue straight away
  • I want to continue, but I need a break first
  • I’m not sure yet
  • I will (probably) not continue

0 voters


I voted both to continue and take a break, since a break would be nice but not absolute necessary :durtle_noice:


I put no break, but would be happy enough with a short break (ie a week or two so that anyone a bit behind has a chance to catch up) - I just don’t think I’d have the self control not to just read on if the break was significant!

1 Like

To be honest, I have no reason to believe the break would NOT be significant :joy_cat:
After all, it’s about getting readers to buy the second book as well, innit? :grin:

I think we can decide this on short notice (i.e. when the first persons have finished the final week’s reading, which shouldn’t take too long as it is only one chapter iirc).

For the schedule of the second volume, I checked out the book and it is of similar length and contains 26 chapters (#24 - #49). Currently I am way too lazy to come up with a detailed schedule - would you all be ok with just continuing to read two chapters per week? I think Murakami writes chapters of pretty equal length so I’m expecting this to work out more or less okay. (If you definitely need a more detailed schedule, then please nudge me and I will work it out.)

Given the intensity of our discussions here and the amount of readers who want to continue, I will just continue with one thread per week if that’s okay.