Kokoro Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does the author of the Forward say of Soseki Natsume’s education and works?

Soseki Natsume was born in Tokyo in 1867 and studied English literature at the Imperial University. After teaching in Japan and England, Soseki wrote many novels, but none with more impact than Kokoro, written in 1914, two years after the death of Emperor Meiji.

2. Who is the translator of Kokoro? What reasons does he give for his Soseki’s biographical information in the book’s Forward?

Edwin McClellan, the translator of the novel, gives insight into the author of Kokoro. McClellan believes through understanding Soseki Natsume in addition to the prominent figures in the novel, the reader will gain better understanding of Sensei and his story.

3. What does the novel’s translator write about the language in Kokoroin the Forward?

Perhaps in explanation if one finds the text simple and without poetical flow, McClellan says he hopes the translation reads as simply and poetically as the original version. McClellan includes some text notes throughout the work, indicating the meaning of certain Japanese words.

(read all 60 Short Essay Questions and Answers)

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