Read Sanshirō by Sōseki Natsume Jay Rubin Online


One of Soseki's most beloved works of fiction, the novel depicts the 23-year-old Sanshiro leaving the sleepy countryside for the first time in his life to experience the constantly moving 'real world' of Tokyo, its women and university. In the subtle tension between our appreciation of Soseki's lively humour and our awareness of Sanshiro's doomed innocence, the novel comesOne of Soseki's most beloved works of fiction, the novel depicts the 23-year-old Sanshiro leaving the sleepy countryside for the first time in his life to experience the constantly moving 'real world' of Tokyo, its women and university. In the subtle tension between our appreciation of Soseki's lively humour and our awareness of Sanshiro's doomed innocence, the novel comes to life. Sanshiro is also penetrating social and cultural commentary....

Title : Sanshirō
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781929280100
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 248 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sanshirō Reviews

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2019-07-16 13:25

    “When he heard that Sanshiro was going to school forty hours a week, his eyes popped. "You idiot! Do you think it would 'satisfy' you to eat what they serve at your rooming house ten times a day?""What should I do?" Sanshiro pleaded."Ride the streetcar," Yojiro said.Sanshiro tried to find Yojiro's hidden meaning, without success."You mean a real streetcar?" he asked.Yojiro laughed uncontrollably. "Get on the streetcar and ride around Tokyo ten or fifteen times. After a while it will just happen by itself- you will become satisfied. "Why?""Why? Well, look at it this way. Your head is alive, but if you seal it up inside dead classes, you're lost. Take it outside and get the wind into it. Riding the streetcar is not the only way to get satisfaction, of course, but it's the first step, and the easiest.” Natsume SosekiJapan is struggling with the modernization/westernization of Japan at the turn of the last century. Sanshiro is a young man of peasant country stock who has done well enough with his studies that he is allowed to go to Tokyo to the university. He finds himself becoming friends with the intelligentsia: professors, writers, painters, but most intriguing of all with beautiful, strangely intelligent women. He is twenty-three and he knows nothing. He goes to classes religiously because he is studious and because he knows by being industrious is how he has been successful in school to this point. The suggestions by his new friend Yojiro to ride the streetcars instead of going to class is a philosophical concept beyond his scope of understanding. Yojiro is on to something though, because what Sanshiro needs more than anything else is new experiences. He needs more life before what he learns in school will be of any use to him. He is always the fish out of the water. The person who feels the most behind in discovering who he is. ”The others were truer to themselves than he was, he had to admit. They were people of the city who lived beneath heavens that were broad enough to enable them to be true to themselves.” I certainly had some flashbacks to when I first left the farm to move to Phoenix. I always felt like a rube, but it was also exhilarating because I was discovering how much there was to learn. I was a quick study and one advantage I’ve always had is being able to apply what I read to my own life. Sanshiro learns quickly, as did I, that the best way to learn was to be quiet, speak only enough to keep others talking. He falls in love, not by design, but because he meets this woman who sees life with more depth, with more nuance than he does. She awakens ideas and concepts in him. He is thinking about things she said days after their last encounter. When he is walking away from seeing her he is already plotting how he can see her again. Food tastes better. The air smells sweeter. Anything seems possible. His emotions run high. ”Lately, Sanshiro had become the captive of a woman, he had surrendered himself. It would be pleasant enough to be lovers, but this was an incomprehensible kind of surrender. He did not know if he was being loved or laughed at, whether he should be terrified or contemptuous, whether he should end it all or go ahead. He was angry and frustrated.”Remember what it was like? Brilliantly tortuous and oh so brutal when like a house of cards your love is folded up and reshuffled. I’m not sure if Natsume Soseki was making fun of the Japanese obsession with Henrik Ibsen or he was joining the course of admirers. There are many references in the book to someone being a character out of Ibsen or someone being Ibsenesque. Sanshiro’s innocence is doomed of course. It isn’t a trait we admire in a grown man anyway. We are expected to be less gullible, less emotional, certainly not a tangle of unstructured thoughts. It is difficult to pass our wisdom to people younger than ourselves without webbing it with cynicism. What we find annoying in them are the very things we have worked so hard to tamp down in ourselves. By destroying innocence in others we continue to keep it contained in ourselves. No wonder young people ignore us. This was a quick, pleasant read. Natsume Soseki was much more assured with his themes in this book than he was in his first book Botchan but then that too is probably just representative of an author losing his innocence as well. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at:

  • Marita
    2019-06-22 13:33

    From the moment that the young man, Sanshiro, takes the ferry from his home village Kyusho and then boards a train at Kyoto bound for Tokyo his life changes. It starts very subtly with a change in people’s skin tone from dark to light which he notices as the train stops along the way, but this is already enough to make him feel homesick.The naive young man does not know how to respond to unfamiliar situations, and when an opportunity presents itself which he is unwilling or unable to grasp, he merely shrinks from the young lady’s withering comment, trying to make himself as small as possible. Sanshiro is startled by the world he discovers in Tokyo, the frenetic activity of demolition and construction, and of people coming and going. He feels that he is merely an observer, and not part of that world. It is not only Tokyo that presents change, as Japan itself is undergoing great transformation during the Meiji era. Sanshiro immerses himself in his university studies, but he remains puzzled by so much of what he observes. He considers whether he should spend his time in a field of research where he could lead a life unconnected with the real world, pretty much as Nonomiya does. However, Sanshiro realises that the real world both terrifies and excites him. As he attends classes he cannot decide whether he feels satisfied or not. He does however discover the joys of the library, ”But faced with the question of what to read, he had no clear idea. It did seem that there ought to be many things inside that he would want to read.” Despite his reserve and apparent detachment Sanshiro soon has some friends in Tokyo, including the lovely Mineko who calls him “Stray sheep”. Mineko repeatedly sends out signals to indicate her interest in him, but Sanshiro doesn’t know how to respond. He is baffled, utterly unsure of what is going on, and has zero confidence in himself. ”Sanshirō never knew what to say at times like this. He could only regret, when the moment had passed and his mind began to function clearly, that he had failed to say one thing or another.” Mineko excites and terrifies Sanshiro in equal amounts. “He did not know if he was being loved or laughed at, whether he should be terrified or contemptuous, whether he should end it or keep going. He was angry and frustrated.”As his friendhip with the unscrupulous Yojiro grows, he sees Yojiro for what he is, and he thinks of objections that he should like to raise, but he simply cannot express his thoughts, and so he follows Yojiro in his endeavours. Unable to articulate his thoughts or feelings, Sanshiro is simply swept along to wherever the tide takes him.###This tale of a young man’s awakening to the wider world is beautifully written. Recommended!

  • Mariel
    2019-07-12 08:09

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but, for once, I'm glad that I'm not an intellectual. Haruki Murakami wrote the introduction to Soseki's Sanshiro (note: I read the "new" translation by Jay Rubin, who should be well known to my fellow Murakami fans [Further to the side note! It felt good to be hearing again through Rubin's cover songs.]). I love Murakami in my greedy passion fashion. In 2004 I read every translated work at that time in a couple of months (followed closely by all yet translated Banana Yoshimoto). That said, I think he missed something important (to me). Nooooo, Murakami, how could you not get it?! "For me, Soseki's apparently most popular novel, Kokoro, left something to be desired, and while I did enjoy the late works, so widely praised for their psychological insight, I could never fully identify with the deep anguish of the modern intellectual depicted in them. "What's the point in going on and on about this?" I would often feel. In that sense, I'm probably a bit removed from the "mainstream" Soseki reader. Nooooooo. Okay, I loved Kokoro so very much because it isn't about the "deep anguish of the modern intellectual". It hurts just as much to be stupid. I don't know when I first started resenting the idea that stupid people were happy. It seems like it has been always. Jack Nicholson's truth is fucking far from this truth and I can't handle either of them. Babies need darkness but c'mon enough is enough. This really fucking sucks, actually. Kokoro is about a whole different kind of awareness and yearning. I kinda didn't want to read the rest of his introduction after he fucked up so royally on Kokoro. Kokoro, and Sanshiro is too, is about trying to sit close or further away in love, not intellect, and know enough to tell where that fire is in the first place. I'd say Kokoro is the fire and Sanshiro is more the knowing how the hell to find it. The mistrust didn't have anything to do with anguish of the modern intellectual. I did really like his introduction, other than that. I'm not too good at finding the cultural fires myself so I don't know if Murakami is right that Sanshiro is about how Japan never "grew up". Is it alright that I'll see myself in it instead? The anguish of the stupid... Wait, I was glad being all glad I wasn't an intellectual and stuff. I needed my love story of Kokoro. Intellectual words aren't gonna be the shovel to dig out or bury into the center of the earth. Sidelong looks, downcast eyes to the heavens and the grounds, blind spots... New ways of looking at things. At least things might look differently then. Is it possible to put it all into words and understand everything? And be HAPPY about it? (I kinda suspect we are all wily coyotes.) Weeell... Sanshiro recalled how the man eating the peaches on the train had said to him, "You'd better watch out- life can be dangerous." For all his talk of danger, the man was annoyingly self-possessed. Perhaps one could be like that if he stood in a position so free of danger that he could afford to warn others against it. This might be a source of amusement for those men who, while part of the world, watched it from a place apart. Yes, for certain, the man was one of them. It was obvious from the way he ate those peaches, the way he sipped his tea and puffed on his cigarette, looking always straight ahead. The man was a critic. Sanshiro tried out the word "critic" with his unusual meaning, and he was pleased with himself. Indeed, he went so far as to wonder if he, too, should live as a critic some day. When I was a kid I would bang my head on the wall when feeling frustrated. I kinda still know how little me felt. If I only had a brain... If I only had a heart! Go on and bang on it. See? All hollow. If I only had courage... Sanshiro's inner sore spot in his awareness (like mine is stupidity and miscommunication) is his lack of bravery. The side looks and checking before a step and before falls... Is there more that happened? Hell yes, I got his confusion. Academics, she said, look at everything as objects of study, and so their emotions dry up. But if you look at things with feeling, you never want to study them because everything comes down to love or hate. Unfortunately, as a scientist, her brother could not help viewing her as an object of study, which was unkind of him, because the more he studied his sister, the more his love for her would decrease. Sanshiro is a "coming of age" novel. I still don't know what that means. I've read a lot of them so far in 2011: Demian, Of Human Bondage, Confessions of a Mask... They did have things in common, actually. The young protaganists (students) would meet people who would speak great words that make sense and work very well as conversations, sometimes, rather than experience (stimulating conversations, though. Perfect for 3 am mental trains conversations). I'm thinking what I really want in my "coming of age" novels is a feeling that it isn't inevitable. Sanshiro does have this foriegn feeling inside of what could happen, the new ways of feeling, curtains lifted, all that stuff. The pain of being stupid and the sting of unrequited something because you can't know if what you feel is what they feel, if someone else is "just being nice", or playing with you. I remember back in the day in kiddie school when my classmates would scoff at the blatant stupidity of their ancestors: "They thought the world was flat?! *I* wouldn't have been so dumb." Emotions aren't science. You don't really walk the steps of those who came before you, at least not in parallel lines. What makes Soseki a particular genius in my eyes is that Sanshiro's confusion is balanced with the gradually moving world before his eyes (and sometimes it doesn't go anywhere after all, like the clouds he watches). He can't know if people are being fake. You decide to trust, you make comparisons based on experience. Sometimes it's as complex as overhearing a loved one talk shit about you and being able to still feel like they love you in spite of it all. It wouldn't have occured to him that people had it in them to be fake when he was living in more countrified company (although I find it hard to imagine any village without vipers). But his sky changes colors and there are big ass rain clouds over his head when it concerns a woman. It's not inevitable that anything is going to change. You know what else I really love about Soseki? One relationship is not the rest of the life. (Yes!) It's stretching out ages. More to come... Screw the "coming of age" novel. It's unrequited love story again (these are my favorite, as I understand "unrequited love", anyway). The anguish of the stupid! We none of us are mind readers (unless we are writers like Soseki). Tear away the pretty formalities and the bad is out in the open. Formalities are just a bother, so everyone economizes and makes do with the plain stuff. It's actually quite exhilarating- natural ugliness in all its glory. Of course, when there's too much glory, the hypervillains get a little annoyed with each other. When their discomfort reaches a peak, altruism is resurrected. And when that becomes a mere formality and turns sour, egoism comes back. And so on, ad infinitum. That's how we go on living, you might say. That's how we progress." I haven't felt like reading anything but Japanese works translated into English (don't know Japanese. Communication tortures me). Why didn't I read Soseki in 2004? I have no idea. I was really dumb. I don't know enough to say why it is that I'm jonesing so bad now. Maybe it is the suicidal feeling as wanting to make up your mind one way or the other. I could just be reading books about that. I really want the foriegn feeling inside about the unrequited. How do you know when people are being fake? I want to feel that human shit isn't inevitable and the less it is "told" (like taken for granted similarities) the better. I wanna see for my own eyes and increase my scope to tell in spite of it all. I'd have liked Sanshiro even better if the teachers had talked a lot less but that's okay. I'll remember their talk in memory as if they were talking to me, maybe. It was then that Sanshiro knew somewhere deep inside: this woman was too much for him. He felt, too, a vague sense of humiliation accompanying the awareness that he had been seen through. P.s. Stray sheep. Stray sheep. The girls! Sanshiro is in love with Mineko. I keep throwing around the word "genius", which is kinda annoying. I'm just trying to say what I value in writing, really. I loved the mind reading glimpses into Mineko, how she seems to be mentally willing one of the men in her life to understand her. She thought that Sanshiro would remember an outfit she wore on a "memorable" day they shared [it was, for different reasons] and that she started being painted on a day because of it. If only he had recognized it that might have been physical proof to her... His not "getting it" was a different kind than hers. I felt like there were echoes waiting to be heard from her when she's with her men. Awesome. P.s.s. Sanshiro sees "Cuckoo in the far-off heavens" written as a caption of a fellow student's art work. I liked that. P.s.s.s. I know I picked on Murakami's take but now I'm feeling guilty because there aren't that many reviews of this book on goodreads. I should have made more real book sense. To place the light and the thing that receives the light in a spatial relationship that cannot be found in the normal natural world is something only a romantic would do."

  • Edward
    2019-07-12 08:12

    Note on Japanese Name Order and PronunciationChronologyIntroductionFurther ReadingTranslator's Note--SanshirōNotes

  • RK-ique
    2019-07-05 11:18

    There are many, more complete reviews of this novel here on GR. Below you will find little more than my thoughts. Sanshirō is another classic Japanese novel about cultural change. But like the other Natsume Sōseki book I have read, Kokoro, the reader is presented with a main character who never really catches on to the world of change into he has moved to study at the university. Sanshirō remains throughout the novel the "lost sheep", the appellation bestowed upon him by Mineko, the beautiful young woman with whom he falls in love. The story revolves around Sanshirō's experiences with the ever changing life in modern (early 20th century) Tokyo and with his frustrations and confusions involving Mineko, a seemingly modern young woman who displays a great deal of freedom and independence from old values. As with the main character in Kokoro, I too was frustrated by Sanshirō's inability to learn, to speak and to react. This time, however, I came to see things through Sanshirō's eyes. Twenty three years of living a rural, traditional life had instilled in Sanshirō, not only a strong set of values and beliefs, but a naivety about the possibility of change and a certain gullibility which left him unable to sort the real from the false. Perhaps it would be better to suggest that whatever culture one happens to stumble into, including the somewhat sophisticated, intellectual group he finds himself in, is not what it seems. This final perspective is the one which, perhaps, Sanshirō realizes in identifying Mineko, too, as a "lost sheep" in the new Japan. A good book for thinking about. With thanks to Marita for her wonderful reviews of both Kokoro and Sanshirō which encouraged me to read them.

  • Michael Finocchiaro
    2019-07-19 16:18

    This was a beautiful book from my favorite Japanese author and yet one of his most depressing. After a euphoric stage of his life that produced his happy masterpieces Botchan and I Am A Cat, Soseki grew more and more morose as the Meiji government took on more and more of the aspects of an empire-building police state and his liberal sensibilities were justifiably saddened and depressed. A lot of this sadness comes across in Sanshirô. I won't spoil the plot because despite its dour tone, the book - as everything by Soseki - is incredibly beautiful and deserves to be read. Two quotes to prove my point:“The call for political freedom took place long ago. The call for freedom of speech is also a thing of the past. Freedom is not a word to be used exclusively for phenomena such as this which are so easily given outward manifestation. I believe that we young men of the new age have encountered the moment in time when we must call for that great freedom, the freedom of the mind.”and“Desire is a frightening thing.”Regardless of these pessimistic statements, Soseki still believed in literature:“Literature is neither technique or business. It is a motive force of society, a force that is more in touch with the fundamental principles of human life. That is why we study literature.” And that is also why we read Soseki with such abundant pleasure.

  • umberto
    2019-07-21 15:11

    When I first saw this novel's title, I thought it's the story as depicted as a cartoon or movie series on television that our children enjoyed watching some 15-20 years ago. I was then reading Natsume Soseki's excerpts in the pocketbook compiled by Donald Keene. Indeed it was my misunderstanding since it's a story about Sanshiro, a provincial protagonist dictated by fate to pursue his university life in Tokyo some 100 years ago ( this novel first published in 1908-9).There are a few points I'd like to say after reading his "gentle humour and doomed innocence" (back cover) as narrated lively and matter-of-factly. First, this is another fine translation by Jay Rubin because, I think, we can readily follow and clearly understand nearly most of what the author wants to say so that his readers can visualize the plot, the atmosphere and the context as related to each character. By the way, I first enjoyed reading Haruki Murakami's "Kafka On the Shore" translated into English by Prof. Rubin years ago.Second, I liked the Tokyo description in which I can compare to what I saw from out visit last May and thus it helps create my admiration as one of the most technologically-advanced capitals in the world (4G for the time being while Thailand's bidding for 3G). For example, "What startled him most of all was Tokyo itself, for no matter how far he went, it never ended. ... Everything looked as if it were being destroyed, and at the same time everything looked as if it were under construction. The sheer movement of it all was terrible." (p. 17) Moreover, I also liked its natural setting as narrated in the novel, for instance, "That night, in its true form, was dark. Passing beyond this place illuminated by the power of men, he thought he could feel an occasional drop of rain. The wind sighed in the trees. ..." (p. 216)Third, I liked Sanshiro from what he does, says and reacts. I mean the author's done his best to create him as human as possible, therefore, we simply can't expect any miracle during his stay in Tokyo to study. You'd be disappointed if you want to read a thrilling story of a godlike hero. In fact, Sanshiro is a 23-year-old student sometime fascinated by Mineko's beauty and appeal. However, he is true to himself and does his best by returning the 20 yen to Mineko successfully, unlike mischievous Yojiro with his unthinkable and ungrateful loan from Sanshiro of course.I agreed with its citation, that is, "... it has come to be a perennial classic in Japan." (back cover). I think Haruki Murakami's fans would be delighted to read his interesting preface and I found the chronology informative. Finally, we have to feel sorry for Sanshiro who seems unlucky in love but he deserves our respects due to his unwavering natural character as well as his ways of looking at the world. The two words, 'Stray sheep' first mockingly used to tease him by Mineko were repeated by Sanshiro in the last sentence. I wonder if he means to be partly amused and partly angry, and who the real stray sheep is.

  • Bên Phía Nhà Z
    2019-06-23 11:03

    Cuốn tiểu thuyết tự thuật “Sanshirō” của Natsume Sōseki, ra đời năm 1908 sau khi “Tôi là con mèo,” và “Botchan,” đã tạo lập danh tiếng cho tác giả, được viết bằng thứ văn xuôi tràn ngập thị-xúc-thính giác, là tác phẩm bao chứa những quan sát và trải nghiệm tuổi trẻ của một cá nhân mà từ đó phản ánh cả một lớp người và đất nước Nhật Bản những năm đầu thế kỷ 20 sũng trong chuyển giao và mâu thuẫn, giữa cũ và mới, Đông và Tây, truyền thống và hiện đại. “Sanshirō” không chỉ là một thanh xuân tràn thơ ngây tiếp diễn, mà còn cả băn khoăn choáng ngợp, và quan trọng hơn, là một bước dận nhảy vào vỡ mộng, của thời kế tiếp.Toàn bộ câu chuyện diễn ra trong khoảng 5 tháng học kỳ năm học đầu tiên của Sanshirō: chàng sinh viên 23 tuổi vừa tốt nghiệp trường cao đẳng từ tận Kyushu, bắt tàu lên thủ đô học văn chương ở trường đại học Tokyo. Truyện bắt đầu từ giây phút anh nhắm mắt mơ màng ngủ rồi mở ra trên tàu, để rồi xộc vào anh, là cả một thế giới không chút tương đồng với cuộc sống cũ. Chỉ trong chuyến tàu dài 3 ngày đêm ấy (và anh phải ngủ lại ở dọc đường 2 lần), tương lai như thu gọn lại trong những gặp gỡ tình cờ, mà đầy giật nảy, và tiên báo cho cả thời gian sau đó. Độc giả, những người từng trải qua một lần xê dịch mất nơi ở, từng tham gia một chuyến tàu hỏa từ quê nhà lên thành phố học đại học sau khi tốt nghiệp cấp ba, đặc biệt là những người từng là sinh viên văn khoa, ắt hẳn sẽ tìm thấy bóng dáng mình trong hành trình của nhân vật chính.Xem nốt:

  • Inderjit Sanghera
    2019-07-14 16:22

    Soseki's prose is opalescent, just like he cumulus of clouds which appear so often in 'Sanshiro', there is something ethereal and captivating about the atmosphere which Soseki is able to create in 'Sanshiro', a kind of wistfulness hovers over the characters as the reader is caught up in the wan beauty of Soseki's prose style. One can easily distinguish the influence on (especially early) Murukami not only with the prose style (although Soseki is more poetic, but also with their preoccupation with the isolating effect of city life and the disaffected and diffident protagonists. Out of all the great Japanese novelists of the early and mid 20th century;  Akutagawa, Kawabata, Mishima and Tanizaki, Soseki is probably the one whose themes and concerns most resonate with modern readers, whilst retaining a quintessentially Japanese sense of aesthetics.The story follows Sanshiro, a young student who moves to Tokyo from the country-side. The novel captures the disorientating nature of this change to Sanshiro, the sense of torpor which over-takes him as he tries to accustom himself to the fast-pace of city life, its endless dissonance and the duplicitous nature of its inhabitants."The sun, now sinking in the West, illuminated the broad slope at an angle. The windows of the Engineering buildings flanking the top slop were sparkling as if on fire. Pale red flames of burning sun swept back from the horizon into the sky's deep clarity, and their fever seemed to rush down upon him"In contrast to this, is the sense of beauty awakened in Sanshiro's heart by two female characters, the vivacious Mineko and the pallid yet beautiful Yoshiko. The image most often associated with Mineko is her kimono and kaleidoscope of colours which blaze forth from it, it is as if her kimono-which the painter Haraguchi finds so difficult to capture in his portrait of her, is symbolic of the brightness which emanates from Mineko is the eyes of her narrator, her febricity contrasting with Sanshiro's own feebleness and lighting up his own colourless inner life. By contrast, the sad and somnolent Yoshiko is more similar in terms of personality with Sanshiro, and although she is beautiful, her beauty is too familiar, too similar when contrasted with the enigmatic Mineko. In many ways, in addition to being a coming of age novel, the story is about Sanshiros choice between these two types of beauty.Other central themes of the novel include societal dynamics in late Meiji era Japan under the increasing sense of Westernization, the incipient blooming of Japanese literature under Western influences and the changing role of women in Japanese society-in many ways Sanshiro captures Japan just as it is on the cusp of modernisation, as the old traditions of Japan are being over-taken and over-whelmed by the modern world, just as Sanshiro is over-whelmed by Tokyo. Yet beneath this, a sense of beauty blooms and blazes forth from the pages of the novel, from the white rose in Mineko's hair, to the reflections of a setting sun on the windows of a building, Soseki is able to imbue the world with a brilliant beauty;"The morning sunlight streamed in form the eastern window behind her, and where the sunlight touched she wore a violet-flame, living halo. The face and forehead were in deep shadow, pale in darkness. The eyes had a far off look. A high cloud never moves in the depths of the sky, yet it must."

  • Tao Đàn
    2019-07-04 11:07

    Sanshirō là hiện thân của tất cả các nghi ngờ, hứng thú và hoang đường của thời kỳ Minh Trị. Sanshirō là chân dung toàn hảo nhất về lớp trẻ Nhật Bản trong giai đoạn giao thời, là hình ảnh kiêu ngạo ngây thơ nhưng lại rất tinh tế sâu sắc của một thanh niên trong thời điểm xã hội giao tranh cũ mới; trước những truyền thống tập tục và đạo đức cũng đang dần phải thích ứng với những biến động của đất nước, một Nhật Bản đang trở mình trước bình minh phương tây.

  • David
    2019-07-20 08:33

    "I'm shy boy!"I don't know where it came from, but saying "I'm shy boy!" in English and moving your hands to a cutesy under the chin pose was something some young men did (do?) in Japan. One time, the male teachers were drunk and talking about going to a girly bar. One of those that wasn't saying "I'm shy boy!" kept saying "It's paradise in the earth! It's paradise in the earth!" but his pronunciation was such that us two native English speakers thought he was saying, "It's paradise in the arse! It's paradise in the arse!" We weren't quite sure what was going on ... Anyway, Sanshiro is a very adorable tale about your average Japanese shy boys. It's cute because there are 120 million Japanese people but reading Sanshiro makes such a feat seem impossible.Bits I liked:"'How do you feel? What is it, a headache? It must have been the crowd. There were some pretty low-class men in the doll shed - did one of them do something?'"Hmmm."Lately, Sanshiro had become the captive of a woman. He had surrendered himself to her. It would be pleasant enough if they were lovers, but this was an incomprehensible kind of surrender. He did not know if he was being loved or laughed at, whether he should be terrified or contemptuous, whether he should end it or keep going."I love that "terrified or contemptuous" are the two options."'No, thanks. I'd rather take up the Noh drum. I don't know, when I hear the plop of that little drum, I feel I'm not in the twentieth century anymore. I like that.'"

  • Vanessa
    2019-06-29 09:03

    #JapaneseJune Book #3.It took me a lot longer to read this book than it really should have, especially as it was on the Kindle. Thank goodness for long train journeys to and from work otherwise I might never have got to the end of this before the end of June!I thought that Sanshiro would be right up my alley but unfortunately it wasn't. For a classic, I couldn't really understand the hype this time around. It follows the character of Sanshiro, who has moved from the countryside to the big city of Tokyo to study at university. We follow him through his various new experiences, such as riding public transport for the first time, meeting new people, his first experiences with women, intellectual stimulation, etc. Unfortunately I didn't feel like I really got to know Sanshiro, despite being stuck with him the entire book.For the most part, I found the characters quite uninteresting and devoid of individual personality (apart from Sanshiro's closest friend Yojiro), and didn't particularly warm to any of them. Sanshiro's love interest, Mineko, I also found to be quite unappealing. Her moods irritated me, and I didn't understand Sanshiro's romantic obsession with her. It bored me more than anything else.Not to say that this is a badly-written book - some of the descriptions and passages were very pretty and lovely to read, and there were points where I did get quite involved with certain events that happened throughout the course of the novel. However, ultimately I felt they didn't really lead to anywhere, and I was more relieved than anything else to find I'd finished the book. I actually prefered the introduction in this volume (written by the one and only Haruki Murakami!)I wouldn't really recommend this, but I'm sure many others will find a lot more to appreciate in this book than I did.

  • Tosh
    2019-06-29 10:19

    So far, "Sanshirō" is my favorite Natsume Sōseki novel. Written over 100 years ago during the presence of the Meiji era in Japan, it's a book that is very much of its time. Japan at the time was feeling the influence of the West - in particular with the arts from that period. English and European literature were being translated into Japanese, and Sōseki is a writer who was very much under the influence of Western writers as well as its various philosophies - yet, the beauty of this book deals with the tension or difference between the West and Japan. The main character, Sanshirō is a countryside fellow who comes to the big city, Tokyo, to study and live. Here he encounters fellow students and professors who are exposed to other things in life besides what Sanshirō knows from his rural life. Including sexual feelings, or the first entrance to romantic overtures from a female. The great thing about the book for me is Sōseki's journalistic talents in writing about Tokyo and wandering throughout the city. "Sanshirō" through the main character, is very much going on a pre-Situationist adventure in finding new delights that Tokyo has to offer its new citizen. Nothing dramatic happens, but there is a strong narrative, with characters interacting with others. The female figures seem to be much more aware of what's going on than Sanshirō who is somewhat a 'sheep' or perhaps even a coward. I think he's not in tuned to his surroundings or even to himself. So, the book is about a discovery and how one processes a change in one's life. In that sense, it's a young man's or person's novel. The ripe fruit is life as it happens, and this novel is about the moments as it happens.

  • Xan
    2019-07-18 13:07

    Lo primero que hay que destacar de este libro es que es de hace 100 años, de un país al otro lado del mundo, Japón, y que al leerlo parece que está pasando a tu lado, ahora. La historia en si es sencilla: chico de pueblo entra en la universidad, hace amigos, conoce a una chica, se enamora...el resto os toca leerlo.Pero lo sorprendente es la actualidad de la forma de pensar de los personajes. En 1908 Japón acaba de derrotar a la flota Rusa, en cuarenta años ha pasado de ser un reino feudal encerrado en si mismo a una pujante nación industrial. Si no fuera por los paseos tranquilos por los parques, el uso de telegramas y la inexistencia de teléfonos móviles casi podriamos olvidar de en que año esta pasando la acción. Y no es una novela histórica en la que la recreación de detalles cotidianos es la forma en la que el autor nos introduce en el mundo íntimo de los personajes; para el autor era su momento, su mundo cotidiano. Un mundo que para mi, un pueblerino provinciano que fue a la universidad a buscar cultura (alguna encontré, pero muy escondida entre capas de relleno) es, con algunos matices, la universidad que conocí hace veinte años. Duele pensar que los "Jóvenes Japoneses" que reclaman su modernidad frente a los usos caducos del pasado y la necesidad de valorar sus propios puntos de vista frente a la imposición de los clichés literarios extranjeros serán los que empujen veinte años mas tarde a Japón hacia la guerra. En resumen: un buen libro, ameno, con momentos divertidos y acertadas reflexiones sobre el valor de los estudios universitarios (SI, ya se quejaban que no valían para encontrar trabajo), los grandes intelectuales y los enamorados cobardes. Y una gran traducción (algo necesario para los que no sabemos japonés). Que lo disfruteis.

  • LợnSiêu Nhân
    2019-07-05 09:22

    “Tuổi trẻ của Soseki trong Sanshiro là một tuổi trẻ bâng khuâng. Sanshiro đã khơi gợi nên một tuổi trẻ bình thường. Một tuổi trẻ mà bất kỳ ai cũng có thể nhìn thấy bản thân ở đó. Tuổi trẻ của Sanshiro mà Soseki phô bày là một tuổi trẻ đang tiếp diễn, với những điều hiển nhiên xảy ra trong cuộc sống. Một tuổi trẻ mà có lẽ ta chẳng cảm thấy u buồn vì đã qua đi.” (Zing)Tuổi thanh xuân đâu cần phải mất mát, sex, tuyệt vọng, điên cuồng, bất ổn mới trở nên đáng nhớ. Ấn tượng nhất trong quyển này với mình là đoạn tả khói phun ra từ mũi giáo sư Hirota. Nó cho thấy một Sanshiro khác so với anh sinh viên nhà quê gật gù trên chuyến tàu lên Tokyo. Một Sanshiro lờ mờ nhận thấy cái vạch phân chia rõ ràng giữa ba thế giới lý tưởng của mình không tồn tại. Các thế giới ấy giao thoa, luân phiên lẫn nhau, cũng như những luồng khói mang toàn bộ đặc điểm tâm trạng của giáo sư lần lượt cùng nhau lộ diện.Không quá thích quyển này, nhưng thích cái “tuổi trẻ không u buồn” trong đó cũng như vẫn thích Soseki, và vì nó là quyển đầu tiên đọc xong năm âm, nên cho 4* lấy may :))

  • Béracha
    2019-06-21 15:13

    Een coming-of-age roman in het Japan van begin 20e eeuw, die naast de ietwat langzame psychologische ontwikkeling van de hoofdpersoon ook een beeld geeft van de modernisering en westernisering van Japan. Het is zeker een aanrader als je geïnteresseerd bent in Japanse cultuur en houdt van de wat langzamere, psychologische romans. Of als je gewoon ontzettend Murakami fan bent, want dit is blijkbaar een van zijn favorieten (hij heeft ook een introductie voor dit boek geschreven). Over het algemeen deed het verhaal me te weinig om het echt fantastisch te vinden, maar ik ben stiekem toch wel benieuwd naar de rest van zijn werk.

  • Oscar
    2019-06-25 14:05

    Esta es una novela muy japonesa. Los personajes pasean por el Tokio de principios del siglo XX, conversando sobre nimiedades, como pueden ser las nubes o los árboles, pero, la mayoría de veces, mantendiendo el silencio. Cuando se habla de cierta literatura japonesa, siempre se comenta la sutileza de los personajes al expresar sus sentimientos, su elegancia en las descripciones, el valor de sus silencios, de manera tal que resulta fascinante para un occidental. Y todo ello es verdad. 'Sanshiro' es así, pero además te permite aprender sobre literatura y sobre cómo era el Japón posterior a la apertura de sus puertas a Occidente.La historia cuenta el año que Sanshiro Ogawa, de veintitrés años, pasa en Tokio. Proviene de un pueblo de campesinos y está entusiasmado, a la par que nervioso, por conocer la capital. Está decidido a aprender todo lo que pueda sobre otros modos de vida y de pensamiento, así como por ser un estudiante aplicado en Literatura, la especialidad que ha escogido para estudiar en la universidad tokiota. Aquí se encontrará con artistas, escritores y científicos, destacando entre ellos Jojiro, con el que entablará un pronta amistad, pero que también le traerá muchos descalabros, ya que Jojiro es un liante de cuidado. También le influirán el profesor Hirota y sus consejos, y Nonomiya, un científico totalmente abstraido por su trabajo. Pero sobre todo quedará marcado por las chicas japonesas, occidentalizadas, y por tanto diferentes a las chicas de su tradicional pueblo. Sanshiro se enamora de Mineko, que le manda señales contradictorias constantemente, siendo estos momentos algunos de los mejores de la novela.Este libro de Natsume Sōseki ha sido una grata sorpresa. Puede parecer una lectura en la que sucedan pocas cosas, pero no es así en absoluto. Es muy entretenido ver cómo va transcurriendo la vida de Sanshiro entre todos los personajes mencionados. Sin lugar a dudas, es una novela muy recomendable.

  • Jo
    2019-06-23 08:06

    When it boils down to it, this is a novel about being too cowardly to approach a woman. We've all had a moment where she was totally hitting on you, and what were you thinking?! You could sort of consider Sanshiro a Meiji-period Catcher in the Rye, except backwards; he goes TO school, starts off thinking optimistically about people and goes from there. This one's safely within the usual Soseki formula of a passive male lead amongst a host of more distinguishable characters, trying to make sense of changing life in modern Japan, but it's one of the most refined examples of that formula. Soseki mostly stuck to what he knew how to write and did it well.Penguin Classics have done a good job of this edition. The new translation by Jay Rubin is clearer and sharper than the one I first read in high school, the footnotes are worth reading, and it was a smart idea slash marketing point to get Haruki Murakami to write the introduction. Though he talks mostly about himself, he's frank and unconceited about it; it seems apt enough for him to describe to us the apartment he had when he was 22 since Sanshiro is such a personal book, and again like Catcher you'll remember the age you were when you read it. I also hope Murakami's name on the cover brings some of his teenage audience over, since this one makes the influence obvious.

  • Nguyễn
    2019-06-30 09:22

    Hiếm khi mình đọc cuốn nào nhanh như cuốn này, không phải vì nó quá hay mà vì kiểu kể "cổ điển" này rất dễ đọc. Nội tâm, suy nghĩ, hoàn cảnh của nhân vật được phơi bày hết bởi chính người viết. Tác giả lột tả những người trẻ trong một thời kỳ đặc biệt của nước Nhật một cách hết sức sinh động. Có một tầng nghĩa sâu hơn, hy vọng mình hiểu đúng ý tác giả, được gửi gắm thông qua việc đặt hai nhân vật Hirota và Nonoyima cạnh nhau. Ngoài ra mình không ấn tượng lắm về câu chuyện của nhân vật chính, kể cả bề mặt và những lớp nghĩa bên dưới. Mình cũng không phải fan của văn hoá Nhật nên những cultural reference trong sách không đem lại được một điểm cộng nào. Nói chung đây là cuốn hiếm hoi mình không cảm thấy lấn cấn khi cho điểm bằng một số tự nhiên. Phần lớn các cuốn khác đều bị kiểu hơi nhỉnh hơn tí hoặc hơi kém hơn tí. Nói chung vậy. Sách rất đẹp.

  • Hideko Piplani
    2019-06-29 15:32

    This novel makes language beautiful and makes you feel like you're been speaking gibberish all your life. You want to learn language all over again. An absolutely marvelous text. Love it for its beautiful wording and play on feelings. You'd love it, whatever kind of reader you may be.

  • Kät
    2019-06-25 08:20

    This story was like taking the train from a random place to another. It is following a part of the life of Sanshiro who moves to Tokyo from the countryside to study at university. It depicts a great deal of student life and Japan in the early 20th century. The book is slow and pleasent. Sanshiros point of view is very non-judgmental so you can appreciate and criticise the people in his life in your own way. I've found them to be very realistic. For example you have the intelligent and analyzing but therefore distant and cold character in Nonomiya. On the one hand a warm, uplifting but also careless and lightheaded friend in Yojiro etc. This kind of helped me to imagine their expressions and ways in a very detailed way. I read this book on the side whilst engaging in very exciting and faster novels. This was something I turned to when I had to wait for somebody outside in the sun or at lunch break. It helped me not to expect everything from it a book should have and therefore I could appreciate it for what it is.

  • Elif
    2019-07-13 10:17

    Yazıldığı zaman için güzel bir kitaptı belki... ama ben çok kolay okuduğumu söyleyemem. Japon geleneksel yaşamı dışında çok birşey katmadı bana. İlgimi çeker mi diye sonuna kadar okudum ama maalesef hayal kırıklığıydı...

  • Nick
    2019-07-20 09:29

    3.5? I think. But I'll give it a 4. Cos a 3.5 for Sōseki is a 4 for any other writer.A good book, but not one of Sōseki's best (that I've read), although I did enjoy it. It was interesting reading in the introduction by Murakami Haruki that it's one of his favourites. As always with Sōseki, there are some blinding quotes. Here are a few that resonated with me. First, one about life in general:But then the man said, "Tokyo is bigger than Kumamoto. And Japan is bigger than Tokyo. And even bigger than Japan..." He paused and looked at Sanshirō, who was listening intently now. "Even bigger than Japan is the inside of your head. Don't ever surrender yourself–not to Japan, not to anything. You may think that what you're doing is for the sake of the nation, but let something take possession of you like that, and all you do is bring it down."And now, a couple specifically about writing:But as he listened to these students, Sanshirō was awakened to the power of the printed word. What Yojirō had said was true: writing anything, however modest, was better than not writing at all.&"That's it," Hirota shot back. "It seems to me that you might create any sort of character in a novel and there would be at least one person in the world just like him. We humans are simply incapable of imagining non-human actions or behavior. It's the writer's fault if we don't believe in his characters as human beings." The novelist had nothing to say to this.And to finish off with, an epic rant that the protagonist, Sanshirō, finds scrawled over the flyleaf of a library book he is reading:"The students who flocked to Berlin to hear Hegel's lectures"–this fellow was obviously a great admirer of Hegel–"were not driven by ambition. They did not intend to exploit the lectures to qualify themselves for making a living. No, they came because their hearts were pure. They knew only that a philosopher called Hegel transmitted from his lectures the ultimate universal Truth and, their quest for Truth a pressing need, they sought at his feet to resolve their disquieting doubts. And when they listened to Hegel with pure hearts, they were able to determine their future, to remake their personal destiny. What magnificent conceit it is for you, a Japanese University student, to equate yourself with them, you and your kind who go to lectures with empty heads, who graduate and leave the University with empty heads! You are nothing but typewriters, greedy typewriters. Whatever you do or think or say is finally unrelated to the urgent life force of a changing society. And that is how you shall always be: empty-headed until death! Empty-headed until death!"

  • Huy
    2019-06-21 16:12

    Những sinh viên bỡ ngỡ bước vào Đại học, đặc biệt là rời vùng quê để lên thành phố tráng lệ thì đọc Sanshirō ắt hẳn sẽ ít nhiều thấy hình ảnh mình trong đó. Một câu chuyện dễ thương, vừa vặn. Có một lỗi biên tập nhỏ ở gần cuối sách, khi Yoshiko đến thăm Sanshirō lúc cậu bị ốm, thì có vài chỗ lại đánh máy nhầm thành Mineko.

  • Margaux Andrea
    2019-06-21 14:27

    This article in the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies by the translator (Jay Rubin) has been really helpful in my understanding of the various imagery and symbolism employed by Soseki in the novel: Sanshirō and Sōseki

  • Angelin
    2019-07-12 09:17

    The writing style of the author was extremely interesting, and as some critics have noted, Soseki's style is actually very modern and forward-looking for his time. Contrary to typically nationalistic views of Japan, Soseki inserts anecdotes and personal views into this story that sometimes seems to mock certain cultural aspects, or question some social rules, which makes it entertaining to read as well(refer to notes at the back of the book).

  • Jason
    2019-07-10 12:29

    My friend gave me a Soseki book (10 Nights of Dream) for my birthday a few years back, and I felt a kinship with this writer right away. The subtlety of his storytelling (which can make his books slow to read, but they're worth the effort) and his naive/repressed main characters somehow speak to me. This book is about a country boy who moves to the big city (Tokyo) for college, but anyone who's familiar with Soseki's work will tell you it's really about the tension between old and new Japan. He feels lost in his new surroundings, meets a variety of mentors that try to take him under their wing(s), and ultimately gets a hopeless crush on a mysterious and somewhat dark & haunting girl. Like I said, the storytelling is slowed down, and at first it may take a while to figure out where it's going. But, like Virginia Woolf's best writing, "slowed down" also means "zoomed in," with ordinary events taking on life-changing signifance, and feelings becoming magnified exponentially.Kokoro is still my favorite book by Soseki, but Sanshiro is probably a close second.

  • Luis
    2019-07-10 15:28

    Es el tercer libro que leo de la pluma de Soseki y debo decir que es el que menos me ha gustado. Lástima, porque tenía muchas esperanzas en él.Sanshiro es un joven de aldea rural que acude a la universidad de la capital japonesa. Fascinado por el esplendor de una gran ciudad y las facultades donde se reúne el saber, también habrá tiempo para que Sanshiro conozca la amistad, la admiración, y cómo no, el amor...La historia en sí es un lento transcurrir, muy lento... Al acabar el libro podemos decir que ha pasado poco, y lo poco que ha ocurrido ha pasado desapercibido. Los personajes están bien definidos, pero en todo momento ellos están por delante de sus acciones. Tampoco el escenario logra fundirse con los personajes, es como si quedasen aparte, cada uno recluido en su esfera.Personalmente, no es su mejor libro, debido a que el argumento no es en sí atrayente. Su fuerza está en la definición y en la profundización de sus personajes, que son verdaderamente asombrosos. Son ellos los que se pierden en el devenir ralentizado de los días... Es literatura oriental pura, en ese sentido.

  • Capsguy
    2019-07-07 16:11

    Generally not the biggest fan of coming of age novels, but Soseki kept me hooked on this one. Another interesting novel depicting the transition of Japan into the modern-era filled with philosophical and social discussions that keep you hooked. The relevant comparisons between East and West alone are of great value to the reader, but Sanshiro's transition from country to city life and his interactions with some inhabitatants of the city that he befriends that spur on his first love and his attempts at finding the answers to life kept you compelled through the reading.Soseki's imagery of Tokyo and traditional architecture are an added bonus.Soseki's job to assist in the Western modernisation of Japan certainly shines through in this novel, using the depiction of a country boy's struggle with coping with an already Westernised Tokyo as a means of showing the advantages of a Japan that adopts change.

  • the gift
    2019-06-24 15:22

    this edition read came with a thirty-page critical essay on this and other soseki natsume work, but the work itself, simple, clear, gently comic coming of age story, is very good without reading it, or knowing his other work. if you have read him before, there is some familiarity with both characters- older sensei, young innocent, cynical young friend, attractive young woman, unapproachable ideal woman- and concerns- japanese culture, arts, facing western world, painting, poetry- and this is very like his usual plot structure, that is, nothing much happens, yet an entire world is revealed...