In the morning, the young version of Miss Saeki comes and makes Kafka breakfast. She tells him that soon, he’ll become a part of this place. She also says that she has no memories.
The young Miss Saeki in the valley is a strange, hollow version of Miss Saeki: while she physically resembles the real Miss Saeki, the fact that she has no memories confirms for Kafka that she isn’t truly like Miss Saeki—as it is the real Miss Saeki’s memories that make her who she is.
At midday, the middle-aged version of Miss Saeki arrives, and sits with Kafka for a cup of tea. She tells him that she burned up all her memories, so she won’t be able to talk for long. She tells Kafka that it’s important that he leaves from the valley. He asks, again, if she’s his mother. Miss Saeki responds only that she once abandoned someone she shouldn’t have, and asks if Kafka can forgive her. He forgives her, and, in his head, forgives his mother, and feels as if a frozen part of his heart has crumbled. Miss Saeki pricks her arm with a hairpin and lets Kafka drink some of her blood, and then leaves the cabin.
Like the young version of Miss Saeki, now that the real Miss Saeki has given up her memories, there’s little that remains to give her an identity. Kafka, still absorbed by the prophecy which has hung over him for his entire life, questions one more time whether the intense feelings he has for her are because she is his mother. But Miss Saeki evades the question, suggesting that perhaps the question of reality is unimportant, and that they can help each other to heal even if she is not his mother. Miss Saeki encourages Kafka to let go of the intense resentment and loss he feels about his mother, as this is the only way he can become truly self-sufficient and move on with his life. Following her advice, Kafka realizes he must both rely on the help of others and let go of damaging grudges from the past.
Kafka walks out to the forest, where the two soldiers are waiting. They tell him the entrance is still open. They tell him to follow them quickly, and not look back. But as they’re ascending the valley, he briefly glances back and suddenly feels like he can’t possibly go on. After all, the young Miss Saeki is still down there. But with effort, he forces himself to continue walking. The entrance is still open, and Kafka is able to continue walking through the woods.
For one last moment, Kafka feels drawn in by his intense bond to Miss Saeki. Even if it means giving up his identity and never truly moving on, Kafka is tempted to return to this version of Miss Saeki in the valley. But, martialing his willpower, Kafka forces himself to go on, and face the future alone.
Somehow, Kafka stumbles back through the woods to Oshima’s cabin. Feeling as if waves are overcoming his mind, he slips into sleep.
Kafka has undergone what feels like an intense psychological experience, venturing into the depths of his own deepest insecurities and subconscious desires. But, through strength of will, he has come out the other side feeling stronger and ready to let go of the past.