Kafka on the Shore


Haruki Murakami

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Kafka on the Shore: Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Kafka awakens as his bus pulls off the highway into a rest area. As he’s sipping some tea in the cafeteria rest area, a talkative girl from the bus sits down with him. She asks if she can sit with Kafka on the bus, and he agrees. The girl says that she believes that chance encounters are part of what gives life meaning.
Like many characters in Kafka on the Shore, in this scene, Kafka and Sakura demonstrate their fervent belief in fate and the power of chance encounters. Whether “fate” truly exists or not, the fact that Sakura and Kafka both believe in it draws them to each other and causes them both to ascribe significance to a random event.
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Back on the bus, the girl falls asleep leaning on Kafka’s shoulder. Glancing at her body, Kafka feels extremely attracted to her—until he suddenly wonders if this girl could be his long-lost older sister. Before he can think much further, he falls asleep.
Ever since Kafka lost his mother and sister when he was a child, every woman he meets seems as if they might be related to him—especially if he is attracted to them physically or emotionally. For Kafka, this is extremely unsettling.
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