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Kafka a popular author and name amongst Japan’s creatives

[UPDATED: 8-28-2019]
Kafka is a popular author and name amongst creatives in Japan. In 2007, an animated version of Franz Kafka’s (1883-1924) 1917 short story A Country Doctor was produced by Koji Yamamura and the author’s name also famously appeared in Haruki Murakami’s bestselling 2002 book titled: Kafka on the Shore, a novel in which the protagonist renames himself Kafka after his favourite author.

Two high profile Japanese people use the name in their pen names Kafka Shishido, a female drummer and singer; and Kafka Asasiri, the author of the manga series Bungo Stray Dogs, a series about the members of a very specialist detective agency; in which the main characters are named after famous authors: such as Agatha Christie (1890-1976), Osamu Dazai(1909-1948), Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933), Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965), and Akiko Yosano (1878-1942).

Another example is a character called Kafuka Fu’ura in the award winning manga series and subsequent spin-off anime Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei (Goodbye, Mr. Despair), where the characters have nicknames coined after social issues. The name Kafuka Fu’ura is apparently a conscious reference to Franz Kafka while the character’s actual real name is said to be An Akagi a pun on the Japanese translation of the title of the book Ann of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery (1874-1942).

Interestingly, a port and the main hub on a small Japanese island called Rebun, with a population of three thousand, north of Hokkaido is called Kafuka. Despite the name; it is not related to Shikoku, the Island, which features in Murakami’s book, Kafka on the Shore.
Kafka a popular author and name amongst Japan’s creatives Posted by Richard Nathan