Kafka Tamura

Kafka Tamura

    Kafka on the Shore

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… in a family out of a Greek tragedy. Kafka's mother and sister left home when he was young, so he grew up with his distant father, the famous sculptor Koichi Tamura. That is, until the day the 15-year-old runs away from home. Renaming himself after the German author, Kafka now seeks to find the rest of his estranged family while escaping the curse hanging over his head.

Visiting… Takamatsu, a coastal city. Kafka has a room in a hotel, but he spends most of his time "in a corner of a small library," Komura Memorial Library.

Profession… former student turned runaway. No longer in school and currently in no need of a job, Kafka spends most of his days in the library, occasionally helping out the friendly librarian Oshima.

Interests… reading, philosophy, and music. Since he has a lot of time on his hands, Kafka's been working his way through the unabridged One Thousand and One Nights and the writings of Natsume Soseki. When he's not at the library, Kafka can be found wandering the streets of Takamatsu, searching for a record of Kafka on the Shore.

Relationship Status… single – and quite intentionally. Kafka runs away from home in hopes of escaping a prophecy, which states he will sleep with his mother and sister. Takamatsu is miles away from his hometown, so Kafka's pretty sure he's safe. But until he finds his missing mother and sister, he's not taking any chances.

Challenge… escaping the Oedipal curse on his head. For now, Kafka's been keeping his head down and avoiding trouble, and so far, it's worked. But fate works in mysterious ways, and a flute made of cats' souls, a mysterious man named Johnnie Walker, and a sudden downpour of fish may be pushing Kafka to confront his fate sooner than he expects...

Personality… strong-willed, introspective, and philosophical. Kafka may be only 15, but he's poised for his age and determined to be "the world's toughest 15-year-old." Beneath his cool exterior, however, is a boy searching desperately for not physical strength, but rather "the strength to quietly endure things —unfairness, misfortune, sadness, mistakes, misunderstandings."


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