Peering into the great human divide between the isolated self and the need for emotional validation, Natsume Soseki's “Kokoro” is a. Kokoro opens in an unassuming manner. The nameless narrator, pen in hand, recollects the first moment he met Sensei on a summer holiday in Kamakura. Hailed by The New Yorker as "rich in understanding and insight," Kokoro — "the heart of things" — is the work of one of Japan's most popular authors.


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But being a young student, his standard of living was much soseki natsume kokoro same as my own. I was therefore not obliged, when I found myself alone, to change my lodgings. My inn was in a rather out-of-the-way district of Kamakura, and if one wished to indulge in such fashionable pastimes as playing billiards and eating ice cream, one had to walk a long way across rice fields.

Part 1, Kokoro, by Natsume Soseki

If one went by rickshaw, it cost twenty sen. Remote as the district was, however, many rich families had built their villas there.

It was quite near the sea also, which was convenient for swimmers such as myself. I walked to soseki natsume kokoro sea every day, between thatched cottages that were old and smoke-blackened.

Kokoro by Natsume Soseki

The beach was always soseki natsume kokoro with men and women, and at times the sea, like a public bath, would be covered with a mass of black heads.

I never ceased to wonder how so many city holiday-makers could squeeze themselves into so small a town.


It was in the midst of this confusion that I found Sensei. In those days, there were two tea houses on the beach.

For soseki natsume kokoro particular reason, I had come to patronize one of them.

Kokoro - Wikipedia

Unlike those people with their great villas in the Hase area who had their own bathing huts, we in our part of the beach were obliged to make use of these tea houses which served also as communal changing rooms. In them the bathers would drink tea, rest, have their bathing suits rinsed, wash the soseki natsume kokoro from their bodies, and leave their hats and sunshades for safe-keeping.

I owned no bathing suit to change into, but I was afraid of being robbed, and so I regularly left my things in the tea house before going into the water. I had already had my swim, and was letting the wind blow gently on my wet body. Between us, there were numerous black heads moving about.


I was in a relaxed frame of mind, and there was such a crowd on the beach that I should never have noticed him had he not been accompanied by a Westerner. The Westerner, with his extremely pale skin, had already attracted my attention when I approached the tea house.

He was standing with folded arms, facing the sea; carelessly thrown down on the stool by his side was a Japanese summer dress which he had been wearing. He had on him only a pair of drawers such as we were accustomed to wear. I found this particularly strange. All soseki natsume kokoro them had their torsos, arms, and thighs well-covered.

The women especially seemed overly modest.

soseki natsume kokoro Most of them were wearing brightly colored rubber caps which could be seen bobbing conspicuously amongst the waves. After having observed such a scene, it was natural that I should think this Westerner, who stood so lightly clad in our midst, quite extraordinary.

As I watched, he turned his head to the side and spoke a few words to a Japanese, who happened to be bending down to pick up a small towel which he had dropped on the sand. The Japanese then tied the towel around his head, and immediately began soseki natsume kokoro walk towards the sea.

This man was Sensei.


From sheer curiosity, I stood and watched the two men walk soseki natsume kokoro by side towards the sea. They strode determinedly into the water and, making their way through the noisy crowd, finally reached a quieter and deeper part of the sea.

Then they began to swim out, and did not stop until their heads had almost disappeared from my sight. Soseki natsume kokoro turned around and swam straight back to the beach.

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