Hi all, hope you’re well these days. It’s nearly that time of year when things get really busy: students graduate, employers hire new staff, and employees transfer to new departments or new offices. One of my own students was kind enough to give me a book as a parting gift – Kokoro, by Soseki Natsume.
This, of course, is a well-known story in Japan. Although written 100 years ago, it has themes that are very much relevant today. A young man graduates from university and finds himself having to care for his family, while also trying to find a satisfying path to begin his own life as an adult. I’m long past the age of Kokoro’s protagonist, and yet I can relate to his thoughts and feelings. Soseki’s use of first person perspective allows us, the reader, to peel away the layers of social and psychological complexity that the story addresses. The dynamics take place in subtle conversations, as opposed to big action. While I love a good SF story, it’s also nice to read about societal and familial relationships in a quiet setting.
So I’m grateful to my old student for giving the gift of a good story. I’ll be sure to pass it on to someone else so they can enjoy it as well.