10 Common Themes Of Murakami Novels - And What They Mean

8. The Cats Of Murakami

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From an old man waking up from a coma to discover he can talk to cats in Kafka On The Shore to the catalyst of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle's winding narrative being the disappearance of the protagonist's cat, these fuzzy four-legged companions are just as prevalent in Murakami's novels than his human characters.

However, while some may be expecting a deeper metaphorical meaning to these furry felines' presence, it turns out that Murakami just really, really likes cats. In a handful of interviews, the writer has cited them as one of his greatest loves in life, putting them alongside the likes of music, running, and baseball. In fact, when he was directly asked about the significance of cats in Kafka, he said he "[doesn't] know whether they have any other significance" other than his own fondness for them.

Having cats around him ever since he was a child, it's no surprise the author has a deep connection with the animal.

Cats aren't the only animals to appear in Murakami's novels either. Birds, elephants, and even unicorns have played key roles, too. But cats will likely always reign supreme in Murakami's literary world.


Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Master's degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.