Week 5: 海辺のカフカ - Kafka on the Shore 🏖

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海辺のカフカ - Kafka on the Shore :beach_umbrella: Home Thread

Week 5

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Start Date: June 25th
Previous Part: Week 4
Next Part: Week 6

Reading:

Week Start Date Chapters Page Count
Week 5 June 25th 10, 11 44

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
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  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
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3 Likes

Wellll these chapters were interesting in all sorts of ways :joy: Chapter 10 was pretty cool; I always like ナカタ and the cat conversations so it was fun meeting multiple cats! I’m intrigued by the whole abyss thing too, seems like ナカタ has some of the same kind of mental metaphor exploration カフカ does via カラスと呼ばれる少年 which is interesting, another point for some sort of connection there :eyes:

Chapter 11 was… something alright lmao. Murakami scenes back with a vengeance; the constant connection of those things with his sister is… hmm :sweat_smile: Definitely learning some vocabulary from it all for what that’s worth :man_shrugging: That aside I am curious about カフカ’s family situation, it really is odd. It’s all weirdly vague and mysterious, which certainly makes me wonder. I’m also (super belatedly) connecting him losing consciousness to the whole rice bowl hill incident, in retrospect that’s probably really obvious but hey I got there :joy: And he met a cat… no way that’s a coincidence :eyes:

Okay I just came up with a wild theory again, bear with me :laughing: What if ナカタ and カフカ are in like… connected but opposite universes? I’m not sure how to explain this in much detail, but I just have the idea that カフカ and ゴマ are connected, like little 1 year old ゴマ being missing is the equivalent of 15 year old カフカ running away. I don’t know how to expand upon this; maybe the cat カフカ met is ナカタ’s opposite? But that could all connect back to the whole soulmate thing, and could be the reason why ナカタ can talk to cats, idk. I’m here for crackpot theories and crackpot theories only :joy:

7 Likes

100% agreed lol. When he went to bed in the sleeping bag I was like “whew, I was worried for a second it would go there” ….aaaand it went there for sure :joy: . The ‘wouldn’t it be great if I was your sister’ conversation right after…oh dear :man_facepalming:

Also I have no wild theories but I 100% am here for reading them.

As an aside, despite some of the weirdness in these chapters (and I’m sure more is coming), I continue to be surprised by how breezy and pleasant this is to read! At least some of it is probably that the vocab spread hasn’t been huge so far (with some exceptions like the first military interview and the library tour) but I also feel like it’s partly just a very readable writing style. I appreciate it!

6 Likes

I quite enjoyed this week’s reading too although the Murakami scene felt a bit forced and unrealistic. I guess that’s part of what makes it a Murakami scene? Not a huge fan of those but whatever.

I do like the cat conversations and they make for good keigo practice…

6 Likes

I also didn’t expect to get that much keigo practice out of the book! :smiley:

Agree with the forcedness of the scene with Sakura… especially the „but I have a boyfriend you know“ trope is so… ugh …

6 Likes

I had been prelearning words on Anki, and stuff like 射精、睾丸 so I was kind of expecting this kind of turn of events :sweat_smile:. But yeah that was um… interesting.

Some great quotes from Kafka in the later chapter (paraphrasing):

“I really can’t stay here otherwise I’ll get a boner.”

“She might have talent as a massager, but her housekeeping skills are close to zero.”

I keep reading Nakata as Tanaka or something… Nakata is Finnish for ‘to fling’, so it’s kind of an odd name to me :rofl:.

Also this tidbit:

Anyone else found it weird the hotel clerk called Kafka 田村様 on the phone, although supposedly he went in with an alias? Maybe it’s nothing, but that was just a bit weird.

7 Likes

I thought 田村カフカ was his fake name? Back when he told Sakura that name it was mentioned that it wasn’t his real name (on page 65). I suppose he‘s just been using the same fake name everywhere? I don’t think we know his real name.

4 Likes

Ah! I must have missed that (or just forgotten :sweat_smile:). There was even the discussion with Ooshima how what kind of parents would give a name like that so it may have twisted my memory.

3 Likes

I’m on my track to catching up with all of you! (JLPT and travels let me fall behind a fair bit, but I’m managing to make good progress.) I finished this three days ago already but totally forgot to comment (just had to read on :sweat_smile:)

:sweat_smile: I was actually like “Hey Murakami, don’t let us down! He is sleeping in his own sleeping bag?!” and surely he lived up to his fame :joy_cat:

I’m actually surprised how omnipresent these sex scenes are. I have read 1Q84 before (in German) and that one also contains weird sex scenes but not to such an extent (but other weird stuff as well, for sure).

Yeah, that was a true facepalm moment.

But do you know what seriously bothers me the most in all the Kafka chapters? That he neatly washes his clothes and then puts them into a plastic bag :nauseated_face: I can’t tell you how disgusting this is to me. I can literally smell the stench of his clothes slowly getting mouldy… :cold_sweat: I’ll happily take any Murakami scene over a clothes-washing scene :woman_shrugging:

3 Likes