Kafka on the Shore Kafka on the Shore question


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What makes us fall in love?
Yona Yona Jun 08, 2012 07:28PM
One of the many thoughts going through my head as I was reading. I mean, on a biological, chemical level, I get it. Hormones, etc. But I couldn't help asking myself what it was that made Kafka fall in love with 15-year-old Miss Saeki. Was it just that she was pretty? I've been in love before, and I realized that I have no idea when that crucial moment, if there was one, happened. I don't know what tipped me over.

So what do you guys think, either in general or about Kafka and Saeki? What makes us fall in love, what made him/them fall in love?

Another question, if you don't feel like tackling that one: do you think he really loved her? Or do you think he only thought he did?



It's hard to say if some kind of relationship can be 'counted' as love or not. Love can be shaped in many forms, even if talk only about love between two lovers, and something that you think is real love, doesn't have to be as real for someone else...
I just finished this book, and I love Murakami as a writer, the book itself was a little bit hard to understand. but I have to agree with Vase, Kafka's love for miss saeki might have been a way to avoid the complete loneliness he was living in...
From my experience, people fall in love because they want to. sometimes they are more in love with the idea of being in a relationship, then the actual person

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Amber I definitely would have to agree with you, on all points. Love takes MANY different forms, ranging all the way from lust to marriage. Murakami is a FA ...more
Nov 09, 2012 08:10PM · flag

Absolutely disagree with Vase. Love is selfless. If fear of loneliness is what drove Kafka to Miss Saeki, he mistook relief for love.


Yona wrote: "One of the many thoughts going through my head as I was reading. I mean, on a biological, chemical level, I get it. Hormones, etc. But I couldn't help asking myself what it was that made Kafka fall..."

May be u are having something which i dont ,and when i feel u have it, i think i found it , then i starts falling in love for you , in the end we both comes to know both of us lacks something , then we both drift aparts


I think the 15 years old Miss Saeki represented things he longed for, she was full of life and loyal to the Kafka in the picture. I think he really did love her, but as someone who is part of himself rather than outside of himself.


Kafka is longing to feel something for his mother (other than confusion & loss which have been with him for so long). Kafka's projections of the 15 year old Miss Saeki may be a reflection of the way his psyche is attempting to resolve the interrupted Oedipal dynamic between himself and his mental model of mother and womanhood..

The complex dynamic between Kafka and Women in the book (Kafa-Oshima, Kafka-Miss Saeki vs Kafka-15 year old Saeki and Kafaka-Sakura) is something to contrast against the one dimensional relationships that Kafka fosters with men: Oshima's brother who surfs and doesnt talk much with Kafka; the lost, superficial soldiers who Kafka struggles to keep up with in the forest; his totally absent relationship with his father...etc

On the other hand Nakata only forms enduring, deep connections with men and ... cats? It seems like he does not "Love" - Perhaps the dichotomy / contrast between the characters and the interplay between them all is something worth looking at? Any ideas?


Hi Yona! I think that what I took away from this is that the genius of Murakami lies in the fact that he explores "love" as a raw emotion instead of something that is cultivated,nurtured,harbored and harnessed.In other words he is more concerned about the "reaction" at hand, than the reactants that are involved.His narrative is so powerful and compelling and as always, it seeks to create an overlapping view between very real emotions and occurences and the whimsical (talking cats that actually make more sense than humans and yes, the "living spirit" of Miss Saeki).As far as Murakami is concerned, you can fall in love with a door knob and it is still a beautiful emotion that you can have all to yourself.


I don't think "romantic" love had anything to do with Kafka's actions. He was running from his father's curse while at the same time fulfilling it, at least figuratively. He certainly equated Ms. Saeki with the mother who left him with the monster and was tormented by that. I do not think he loved the 15 year old Ms. Saeki at all.


But isn't it important that miss saeki is, at least in Kafka 's mind, his mother?

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Amber It could of been that he saw the 51 year old Saeki as his mother, but the younger Saeki was actually his soulmate. If souls can leave peoples bodies a ...more
Nov 09, 2012 08:14PM · flag

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