Natsume Sōseki

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    Kokoro Analysis

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    In his novel titled Kokoro, Natsume Soseki explores the values of both the traditional society and the modern ideals brought about in the Meiji Era. The Meiji Era is a period of Japanese history (1868-1912) in which Emperor Meiji took the throne and enforced extreme social change. Prior to the Meiji Era, the Japanese culture withheld Confucian values that placed emphasis on a harmonious, collective society, education, extreme respect to authorities, and focus on human relationships rather than deities or metaphysics. Emperor Meiji's reforms, however, reflected upon influences of western philosophy; modern ideals emphasized ethics of the individual, loyalty to the state, a deepened sense of equality, and justice and duty to the family. During…

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    “I was considering always in my room of the lodging house and besides, felt that it is vain to try. Because reading a lot of books doesn’t indulge my appetite actually, then, I gave it up. At the same time, gradually I couldn’t catch the meaning even myself that what I read the books so much for.” Souseki Natsume wrote this in his essay ‘My individualism’, which retrospect the prehistory of shaping ‘A theory of literature’ and it was the description when he was studying abroad in England in…

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    The speech “My Individualism” is spoken by Natsume Soseki when he first time visits to Gakushuin. In his speech, he mentions that the individual should not be erased from the nation. The nation cannot be defined by individualism or nationalism because both of them are the same, and there is no difference between individualism and nationalism. He claims that the relationship between the individual and the nation should be interactive. He indicates that many people think of individualism in bad…

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    Meiji Japan Analysis

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    During the era of Meiji Japan, Japan opened its doors and became influenced by societies like Europe. In Sanshirō: a Novel by Natsume Sōseki, Japan became influenced by Europe’s ideas of individuality and humanism. The people in Meiji Japan believed and accepted to a great extend the European narrative of the Enlightenment of humanism, people being seen as a human who determine their own destiny, individuality, which meant people do what is in their self-interest, people were logical and…

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    Role Of Women In Kokoro

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    Kokoro by Natsume Soseki is one of the most famous novels in modern Japanese literature. The novel is set in Meiji era Japan, a time when Japan became a more modern and Westernized country. Although the modernization of Japan was a welcomed change, many Japanese were torn between the inevitable modernity of their country and their tradition. The modernization of Japan brought about societal changes in the role of women, but similar to the Meiji era, the representation of women in Kokoro were…

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    Isolation In Kokoro

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    Kokoro by Natsume Soseki is a novel that introduces readers to a vast majority of characters that feel isolated due to their past. It is apparent that in Japanese society, during the Meiji period, that people were going through sudden changes. These changes provoked many people within this era and later in the novel, Sensei hints at his mysterious past which put him into the isolation that he is in now. When exploring feelings of isolation in Japanese society through these characters, there is a…

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    Dishonesty is a common theme in many works of literature. The denotation of dishonesty will be: When one person is deceptive either by intentionally withholding information or by making a false statement to another with the intent of deceit. In Natsume Sōseki’s 1916 novel Kokoro and Mark Twain’s 1884 novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the main characters have to deal with the dishonesty that occurs in their friendships. In Kokoro, Sensei, after losing everything to his uncle, thus making…

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    Changing Season Analysis

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    There are a countless amount of cultures in the world, each with its individual quirks and ideals, and perhaps the easiest way to understand the numerous amounts of cultures is by examining and reading their literature. There is an enormous amount of information crammed into the poems, books, and plays that share the secrets of their culture. In particular, the book of Kokoro, written by Soseki Natsume, and Changing Seasons, a poem by Princess Nukada, shares with us a culture on an opposite side…

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    races... it is natural that we should have chosen cloudy colors... and sunk ourselves back into the shadows... our ancestors cut off the brightness and created a world of shadows”(33). He discussed the cloudiness of all things, natural and man-made, that are a part of the Japanese culture. Then Tanizaki persuades the past infusion of cloudy features was the initial force of appreciation of shadows that has continued today. Tanizaki attempts to persuade his audience to appreciate shadows at the…

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