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Raining Fish


SnowyYeti
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In chapter 18 after Nakata tries to turn himself in, he tells the police officer that ne needs an umbrella and that it is going to rain fish the next day.  And then it does.  Like chisnell says, everything in literature has meaning, but what possible significance can this scene have?  I am so very confused about this.  I am not very far into the book so maybe there are implications that are realized later in the book that I don't yet know? If it is not touched on later in the book, Id like to hear what others think about this scene. 


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Persephone
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This is another one that I'm totally lost on as well, and I'm at chapter 35 right now. My first impressions was that this was to further the idea that Nakata is a sort of "chosen one" like Kafka is, but out of any way to show this, why fish raining from the sky?! Perhaps this was a connection to cats? But that theory is totally thrown off by the leeches... I'm eager to hear others thoughts!


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Nicole
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I don't mean to sound too repetitive, but this scene confused me a lot as well! I think it's possible that this scene is one way to show that he is special in some sort of way. Like how he could talk to cats and could sense where he was supposed to go/what he was supposed to do--even if he didn't really know what that was. But I think it could also be related to a conversation we had in class prior to spring break. We had a discussion about whether or not Nakata is crazy, and I  think this scene gives us a definitive answer to that question. I want to point out the cop that Nakata talks to after killing Johnnie Walker. The cop mostly dismissing Nakata and writes him off as crazy, which I think is probably the initial reaction a lot of us had to Nakata. But after the fish rain from the sky, the cop realizes that Nakata wasn't crazy, and he should have taken Nakata more seriously. Which again, is probably the same sort of reaction a lot of us had at some point or another with Nakata--whether it was when he was told to wait in the vacant lot for something to happen (then it did), or when the dog lead him to Walker's apartment, or even at the same point as the cop: the scene where fish rained from the sky. I don't know if that is the purpose of this scene, but I think it's at least possible, and that's the only significance I can really find in that detail.


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Gil
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I agree with @nicole I think this says a lot about Nakata's character and how he seems to be more in touch with the world than every one else. This is just a theory, but the fish raining down could be a sign for some sort of imbalance in the universe that is happening. Kafka reads that leeches and fish rained from the sky in the same newspaper that he learns that his father has been killed. Both Nakata and Kafka have this connection to possible murder and the fish raining from the sky. We have already discussed that there is definitely some sort of supernatural connection between Nakata and Kafka with the deaths of Johnnie Walker and Kafka's dad. Maybe this connection between Kafka and Nakata has the universe a little shaken!


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savhoisington
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@nicole I have had the same thought process. We know that what Nakata says has some merit to it, especially considering the events such as talking to cats and finding them (successfully), and the fish raining from the sky. So, when the event of Johny Walker's death or Kafka's dad's death occurs, it creates confusion. So if Nakata isn't crazy, then the scene with Johny Walker should be true. But, what occured in Kafka's world is that his father was stabbed to death, nothing was mentioned about the cats or anything else. So I am just so lost onto what happened here or why Nakata had this vision if it was one


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TheBoulder
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@gil This was my thinking too, these extremely unbelievable events seem to represent an imbalance with the world. I also see how it legitimizes Nakata's person too, I think that is correct too. When the leeches rained with the bikers, it also was at a time when power was unequal though it shouldn't have been.


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abuzz
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This scene gives me an "I'll show you" vibe. Nakata knows what he did, and is taking responsibility by turning himself into the police after he kills Johnnie Walker. The officer seemed to be slightly interested in reporting the incident until Nakata stated he was illiterate. To the police officer, this was an automatic dismissal of Nakata's credibility. It seems like saying something that seems nearly impossible, such as fish raining from the sky, and seems even less likely than Nakata murdering would never happen. But the fact that it did shows that the police officer can never expect what he thinks will always be right.


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stella
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This was something that confused me as well. But I really liked what @gil was saying. I feel like this was purposefully done by Murakami to show a connection between Nakata and Kafka. I also think this ties into the conversation between Nakata and Mr. Hagita. Like Murakami is encouraging the reader to find this connection. 


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MSAR
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This scene was quite a daunting scene. The mackerel being one of the most popular fish in Japan I feel like has something to do with this. As the book said the fish were in perfect condition, they could literally be taken into the market and sold as fresh mackerel something that everyone could benefit from. But since they came in such an inconvenient way the authorities told everyone to stay away from them. I see some sort of connection between the fish falling from the sky and nakata's wish to contributing member of society. Although he does a lot of things that are good  ,like finding cats and returning them to their owner, everyone dismisses him as an old senile man instead of appreciating him for trying to contribute to society. He tries his best but prejudice towards him makes him like the mackerel, a perfectly good fish that came from a peculiar way to still offer the same result any other fish which didn't rain from the sky did. BTW this is my educated guess. Feel free to correct anything I just found this theory the most fitting since it has to have something to do with nakata and society failing him, not him failing society.


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Gil
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Something I wanted to add into this thread as I kept reading is the excerpt from "Kafka on the Shore"! This song was very strange to me for it seemed like it was literally talking to Kafka for it was weridly accurate. One of the lines in the song mentioned "Fish raining down from the sky", which actually happened many years after Ms. Saeki wrote the song. Very bizarre. Anyways, Oshima suggested that maybe Ms. Saeki did not know what her lines meant, they just came to her. He said that you can know a symbol without knowing the meaning. I feel like this song, eerily close to Kafka's reality, demonstrates the connection between Kafka and Ms. Saeki. What did you guys think of the song?


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wildsalmon
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@gil The rest of the seemingly nonsense lyrics connect to the rest of the plot, too. It's just more of these connections that really don't seem worthwhile at all, but obviously they mean something, right? They seem to more connect Nakata to Ms. Saeki, or I guess by proxy, connect Nakata to Kafka. Since there's only a few points linking the two main characters of the story together, each one is valuable, so the song being as it is has to unfold in some way. It's getting a bit away from the fish, but what exactly is so significant about the fish raining, and not any other of the strange things not mentioned in the song?


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Madams43
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This scene is actually very interesting and does pose a lot of questions to the book as a whole. I think that there are different ways to approach this scene as well. Similar to Kafka, who believes himself to be responsible for the violence he imagines or dreams about, Nakata believes he is responsible for the murder he remembers committing even though it seems like all evidence of the murder has vanished. When Nakata's prediction about the fish comes true I think the significance of it is that it gives Nakata credibility and suggests that his perception, however surreal, might in fact reflect reality.


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Nicole
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@gil I definitely think the details in Miss Saeki's song were intended to show the connection between Kafka and Miss Saeki. It goes back to all our discussions of fate and the idea of Yin and Yang. Everything is connected, and Miss Saeki was connected to Kafka long before they met. It strengthens the idea that fate drew him to the library, and could have even strengthened the feeling Kafka felt of being bound to the prophesy and needing to fulfill it.


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Nicole
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@madams43 I definitely agree with this. Prior to this incident, many may view Nakata as being crazy--the police officer certainly did. But when the fish started raining from the sky, the cop had the realization that Nakata isn't crazy. He was telling the truth about what happened with Johnnie Walker, and he just wrote him off because he sounded ridiculous. The same happens with the reader. We saw Nakata talking to cats and following a dog, etc., and we may have had doubts or questions about whether or not it was real. Then the fish started raining from the sky. That wasn't something that only Nakata experienced: everyone in the area saw fish raining from the sky. So in my opinion, this scene sort of acted as a confirmation of all the unexplainable acts happening in this book--there are certainly many more to come.


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