Saturday, 21 September 2013

The pencils of Oshima

The writing instrument that represents Oshima, the cross-gender librarian of Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore, is the pencil: yellow with a rubber at the end, long, slender, always impeccably sharpened, always there by his side or twirling between his middle and index fingers. There is always a stack of long neatly sharpened pencils on his desk. He uses the pencil to encourage, to make a point, to think (by gently pushing the rubber end against his temple), to bid farewell. 
"Where his pencils finish up when they get too short I have no idea." says Kafka whose pencils are usually blunt.

"Oshima picks up a long, sharpened pencil from the counter and gazes at it as if it's an extension of himself. ...

Instead of raising his hand, he lifts his pencil in farewell."


Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore, Kindle Ed. 2011.


  1. I'm a big (though relatively new) fan of Murakami. I read "1Q84" and "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle" last year and just loved them. I've been planning on reading "Norwegian Wood" soon, but after this, I think I need to move "Kafka on the Shore" up on my list. Thanks for the post!

    1. Andy, I too I'm a recent fan and started with the Wind up Bird Chronicle and moved on to 1Q84. After Kafka comes the Norwegian Wood I think.

  2. What a wonderful photo! A print of that would look handsome on the wall of a study or library. :)