Sōseki: A Classic of Japanese literature

Natsume Sōseki: a classic of Japanese literature and one of the most famous Japanese writers.

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literature japanese literature

Japan has a vast culture as well as fascinating literature. I personally am impressed by the Japanese literature of the Meiji era, and an important and representative writer is Natsume Sōseki.

 Something about the Meiji Era

The Meiji era is characterized by drastic changes in the Japanese society due to the industrialization and westernization of the country. Japan borrowed many Western values and tried to keep up with the other developed countries of the world. So since 1868, with the Meiji Restoration, Japan has become more and more like a Western country, producing huge changes in the lifestyles of people of all walks of life.

  Literature of the Meiji Era

Within this era, the Japanese society put a greater emphasis on the study of English. This change, produced in Japan a Western-inspired literature that abounds in references to various works of the Western literature. A writer who managed to lay the foundations of modern literature in Japan was Natsume Sōseki. He managed to write a series of novels that have, among other things, complex and well-individualized characters.

  Something about Natsume Sōseki

Although Natsume Sōseki had a tough childhood, he managed to get a proper education and to attend Tokyo Imperial University where he studied English and English literature. Sōseki also received the opportunity to study at a university in the United Kingdom where he spent a period of time suffering profoundly because of the separation from home and family. There he realized how big the cultural gap is between his own country and a Western country. Returning home, the future writer worked as an English professor for a short period of time, later dedicating himself completely to writing. Sōseki has an impressive literary work that addresses various issues and ridicules the Japanese desire for hurried and forced westernization. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBvp-birv_I

  Literary Legacy

Among Sōseki ‘s best-known and most translated novels are: “I am a Cat”, “Kokoro”, “Botchan”, “Grass on the Wayside”, “Light and Darkness”, “Inside my Glass Doors”.

Therefore, Natsume Sōseki will always remain a classic of Japanese literature and one of the most famous Japanese writers.

 

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