The Elephant Vanishes


Haruki Murakami

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The Elephant Vanishes Characters

The Narrator

The protagonist of the story, the unnamed narrator is a 31-year-old man living in an affluent Tokyo suburb who works for the public relations department of an electrical appliance manufacturer. He has an ongoing interest… read analysis of The Narrator

The Elephant

The titular animal of “The Elephant Vanishes.” The elephant was displaced from its native habitat in East Africa twenty-two years before the story takes place and comes to live at the zoo in a Tokyo… read analysis of The Elephant

The Keeper/Noboru Watanabe

An elderly zookeeper who took care of the elephant for many years at the zoo and continues to live with and care for the animal after it is transferred to the town’s makeshift elephant house… read analysis of The Keeper/Noboru Watanabe

The Woman at the Party

An attractive young woman whom the narrator meets at a business party. Like most other characters in the story, the woman is unnamed, only referred to as “her” and “she” by the narrator. The woman… read analysis of The Woman at the Party

The Mayor

The mayor of the town in which the story takes place. After the town’s zoo closes and the story’s titular elephant is left abandoned, the mayor agrees that the town will take ownership of the… read analysis of The Mayor
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The Townspeople

The inhabitants of the suburban community where the displaced elephant comes to live. The townspeople are generally opposed to the mayor’s decision for the town to take over the care of the defunct zoo’s… read analysis of The Townspeople