Week 6: 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 6


Start Date: July 2nd
Previous Part: Week 5
Next Part: Week 7


Week Start Date Chapters Page Count
Week 6 July 2nd 12, 13 47

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Chapter 12

Can we make it for one week without a Murakami scene? I guess not xD
But now it makes sense why Nakata awoke when the nurse spilled the blood! And maybe him being beaten caused flashbacks to previous domestic violence and led to his brain shutting down (long-term?)
That scene was really creepy, though. And the other students didn’t remember anything… very 不思議. I hope we get a scientific explanation for the 集団昏睡, maybe based on what the teacher wrote.

Chapter 13
I don’t think this counts as a spoiler?
I always thought that in Japan the musical scale was Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti, so I was wondering why they were talking about ニ長調.
But through next level googling I figured out that there is another counting system in Japan, which is of course いろはにほへと, because what else would it be!
Which would make you think that に is F, but the いろは doesn’t start with C, it starts with A. (A=イ, H=ロ, C=ハ. Which is in line with the European system, I guess? So one can’t complain, really. But seeing ハニホヘトイロハ just looks weird)
So ニ長調 is actually D major (minor would be 短調) :slight_smile:


Oh that’s wild, jpdb threw ニ長調(ちょうちょう) at me and I was like “what is this??” and settled with myself that it was two, like C would be one and D would be two? But no it’s something completely different with the same result :joy: (expect it’s katakana ニ huh…)That’s really interesting!


I finished up this week’s reading yesterday and promptly passed out so post today! :joy: And yeah wild as always; chapter 12 was definitely intimidating language-wise but once I got into it it wasn’t so bad. I’m concerned about all of the contexts where blood keeps coming up :sweat_smile: like カフカ wakes up covered in unaccounted-for blood that isn’t on his outermost layer of clothing, and then talking about the teacher lady’s sudden period (among all of the other weirdness of that chapter lmao) and then 大島(おおしま)'s hemophilia, like there are more and more possible explanations for カフカ’s bloody mess and I don’t like them :joy:

Also in chapter 12, did… did the teacher get pregnant?? Did she have a mysterious unknown child they didn’t actually tell us about?? Like yeah a lot of the descriptions in those scenes were… weird, to say the least, but it was very specific about how she felt certain things stuck to the sides of her uterus (??) which… yeah, what? Weird dream-initiated pregnancy doesn’t seem impossible at this point :man_shrugging:

I am very curious to see how things go with カフカ, spooky cabin in a clearing in the woods?? Mountain clearings don’t have a great track record in this book haha, things are clearly gonna go down :eyes:


I also found that weird! I think she said that she felt her husband ejaculating against her uterus walls, which… I don’t think is possible, really? So I just shrugged it off as #menwritingwomen :woman_shrugging:t3:
I also thought for one moment that we will somehow get a virgin birth from the dream, but then I remembered that the teacher said in the beginning that she didn’t have any children.


Lmao yeah there was a lot in that section that could fall under that :joy: That is definitely what she said yeah, it just struck me as such a bizarre specific thing that I was like “does this mean something??” I guess it depends whether it is just men writing women syndrome or if it’s somehow some weird supernatural thing happening where she can sense it? Which is still odd to say the least lmao, but there’s been kind of an ongoing theme of weird parent-child situations like whatever the deal is with カフカ’s family so I couldn’t completely write it off. Maybe her dream-baby is out there somewhere :eyes:


Omg I’d forgotten about that already! So yeah, there’s a very clear blood theme going on.

In this week’s reading I was a bit bothered by two things which I found really unrealistic, one in each chapter.

Chapter 12: it probably sounds like a detail but I’m sorry, periods don’t go from 0 to niagara falls all of a sudden. They start slow-ish, and sure you might get enough to stain your clothes, but the way it’s described, she had a really heavy flow all of a sudden which seems surprising and alarming. And while this might be a weird “mystical” period in some way which might explain it, it doesn’t sound like she was surprised by the flow, only by the timing. I also took this as #menwritingwomen (or I dunno maybe it’s just me, curious to hear the impression of other women)

Chapter 13: so I have this place you can crash but I’m afraid you might not like it. Let me take you all the way there anyway without telling you anything about it because I like a good dramatic effect. And seriously kid, this is suspicious AF, how do you know he’s not a serial killer or something.


Two more chapters down and (according to my kindle) we have reached the half way point of the book! :tada::tada::tada: (or well, half way through 上 I guess…)

It might have had something to do with the fact that I started trying to read it after taking an overnight bus but maaaan did the first half of chapter 12 drag. It felt like a million years before we got anything that wasn’t a) polite letter filler content, or b) things we’ve already been told many times. And then we finally get some new information and it’s (as others have already noted) peak ‘Murakami content’. I feel like if I was the person reading this letter in real life I’d get about as far as her saying that there was something she hadn’t mentioned in her testimony and then launching straight into talking about how she had a sex dream about her husband the night before the incident and be like ‘okay, so this is definitely some weird prank’.

Chapter 13 I enjoyed much more! In general I’m liking the カフカ chapters the most, I’m really intrigued about 大島 in particular. I hope he’s not some bad guy actually as I like him so far! Would 100% agree with @miwuc though that it really felt like they were setting us up for a murder deep in the woods or something. カフカ, ask more questions!


Boooi, this was a drag! First the super-keigo letter with, like, 5 pages of saying nothing? :joy_cat: Luckily, once the events picked up speed :eyes: the keigo subsided somewhat, and it turned into an easier read for me. And then I was like, yay Kafka chapter, but 大島 just nerded on about music and I was like :face_with_spiral_eyes: “what does the author want to tell us” haha

I also thought it was going in that direction, but then

and so I figured that it wasn’t going to happen.

Unfortunately that depends :cold_sweat: When I was young, I was like that as well, but after I had two children, that changed dramatically - going from nothing to quite the strong flow in an hour or so is not unrealistic for me. It has eased down a little bit over the years, but the sheer amount is still impressive to me.

I think the fact that she mentioned the strength of the flow already shows that she was surprised and maybe alarmed - I mean, this is a letter she writes to a basically unrelated (and male!) person so my thought was that she did not want to elaborate on this much further?
Also, I was rather thinking that maybe Murakami was trying to describe that she had a spontaneous abortion, what with the talk about something sticking, plus the heavy blood flow? I mean it doesn’t work out at all timing-wise but hey :woman_shrugging:

Same, but that evil grin (and mentioning at least three times that he is interested in Kafka in other ways as well) makes me wonder what kind of surprise Kafka is in for…

Also, that final warning was a bit like “And the mother said to Little Red Riding Hood: ‘Don’t go into the forest, it’s dangerous!’” wasn’t it? :grin: Curious to see how long he can hold off…


Thanks for sharing! Well, i stand corrected then :slight_smile: