As Kafka himself points out, the name “Kafka” means crow in Czech, which is part of why he chose the name for himself. Crows in Kafka on the Shore are harbingers of protection, warning, and advice. More specifically, they signify wisdom that feels as if it is coming from an inner voice or conscience. Thus, they speak to the importance of heeding inner voices and instincts, as well as pausing to take a step back before entering into dangerous territory. Crows appear most prominently in the role of the boy called Crow, a persona that Kafka imagines giving him advice and encouragement in times of danger. Crows also appear at key moments in the novel when Kafka seems to be entering into physically or emotionally dangerous territory. For example, at each of the moments when Kafka begins his sexual relationship with Miss Saeki, dreams of raping Sakura, and enters into the deepest part of the forest, a crow caws ominously in the distance, as if trying to warn him. Crows are an embodiment of wisdom that Kafka possesses but to which he does not always have full access.
Crows Quotes in Kafka on the Shore
Sometimes fate is like a sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change directions but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you.
What makes sense, what doesn’t, it’s all mixed up. Above me, a crow gives out a piercing caw that sounds like a warning, it’s so jarring. I stop and cautiously survey my surroundings.