Anybody wants to discuss Kafka on the Shore?


I just finished 海辺のカフカ and as expected the story, while not that difficult to follow, was quite open to interpretation as to how it all fits together.

So I thought that in case there are more out there who have read it (in any language, doesn’t have to be Japanese) and feel like offering their thoughts and speculations hypotheses, I’d like to hear them :slight_smile:

Obviously (well, assuming anyone writes anything that is) this will mostly be spoilers, so I don’t think we need to blank those out. Just stay away if you don’t want the book spoiled…


I had so many questions after I finished this book. It’s pretty good but so weird and sometimes even disturbing (those cat hearts)
Who is Kafka’s father and why is he doing all of this?
In the end there is also something inside nakata?
I really feel for the police officer who Nakata confessed the murder to…

Anyways, I definitely think the book is something special. It’s so surreal and mashes together all these ideas references and stories… It’s just so much to unpack though. I wonder if there are theories where everything makes sense because I didn’t understand what was going on most of the time.

That was quite the scene! I personally didn’t find it that disturbing since it was just so absurd… He’s dressed like Johhnie Walker, cutting cats’ heads off, eating their still beating hearts all while whistling hi ho. Kind of refuge in audacity :slight_smile:

I don’t think it’s meant to all come together perfectly… I wonder if that wouldn’t even kind of defeat the purpose of the increasing surrealism.

EDIT: Found this quote from Murakami

Kafka on the Shore contains several riddles, but there aren’t any solutions provided. Instead several of these riddles combine, and through their interaction the possibility of a solution takes shape. And the form this solution takes will be different for each reader. To put it another way, the riddles function as part of the solution. It’s hard to explain, but that’s the kind of novel I set out to write.

I thought that was maaaybe the same enitity as Johnnie Walker? And also the one having its face torn up by the boy called crow in the earlier chapter? All the while laughing like a maniac saying he couldn’t be killed because he had no physical form.

I got the sense that all of this was in order to stop that thing from getting into the entrance or something… But in that case, if the entrance was closed with the thing on the outside why not let it back in? Why open it? Or maybe I’m way off track here :slight_smile:

1 Like

I am also reading it currently (in English as my Japanese is not yet jōzu enough)^^
I am not yet finished so I will join the discussions later

1 Like

I’ll reread it someday, got it on book off for cheap a while ago. :slight_smile:

I’ve read (including from Murakami himself) that it will make increasingly more sense on subsequent reads…

1 Like

It’s been some time since I read Kafka on the Shore (a few years), but I remember really enjoying it. I love Murakami’s work; I’m currently on a library waiting list for his most recently translated release, Killing Commendatore.

1 Like