Kafka on the Shore

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About Him

Grew up… with fluid view of the world. A transgendered gay man, Oshima's relationship with gender and sexuality has allowed him a more flexible view of reality. Disappearing cats, Oedipal prophecies, astral projection – strange, yes, but if anyone knows that appearances can be deceiving, it's Oshima.

Living... in Takamatsu, a city by the Japanese seashore. It's hardly a huge city, but whenever he needs a change of pace, Oshima withdraws to his quiet retreat in the mountains.

Profession… librarian at Komura Memorial Library, run by Miss Saeki. As a privately run library, Komura doesn't cater to the general public – "no one comes here to read the latest Stephen King novel." So Oshima's naturally intrigued when a scruffy teenager, Kafka Tamura, begins spending long hours there.

Interests… literature, from Shakespeare to T.S. Eliot to Hegel. Komura Memorial Library might specialize in tanka and haiku poetry, but Oshima's tastes are much more global. Though he does seem to have a particular love for Greek drama.

Relationship Status… single, for now. As both a gay man and a transgender man, Oshima often has difficulty finding partners. But at present, he's not very bothered by his lack of a lover.

Challenge… helping newfound friend Kafka Tamura navigate his fate. A 15-year-old runaway, Kafka is trying to escape an incestuous prophecy. Although he has not seen them for years, the prophecy supposedly dooms Kafka to sleeping with his mother and sister. It's a situation out of a Sophocles play, and just like Oedipus, Kafka finds it to difficult to avoid his destiny. As one of the few people close to Kafka, Oshima tries to bring peace to his young friend, assuring him that the irony of tragedy actually "deepens a person, helps them mature," bringing "salvation on a higher plane."

Personality… intelligent, charming, and quietly assertive. A soft-spoken, mild-mannered hemophiliac, Oshima may not be physically imposing. But his serene inner strength has helped him weather both prejudice and identity crisis.

Oshima's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #3464 out of 5,600+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.

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