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Kokoro Paperback – July 1, 1996
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"One of the honorable ancestors of a brilliant generation of novels." --Donald Barr, New York Times
Top Customer Reviews
The writing style is slow and delicate, with a precise economy of ideas and words. The translation is excellent, lending credible authenticity to the language. The Ideas, of course, need little interpretation as they are human in nature, and can be understood by all. Small cultural notes, such as the important suicide of General Nogi, are wisely footnoted and explained to deepen understanding of the narrative.
The simple story of Sensei, his wife, the young man and his family lay a basic framework upon which to weave the emotions that are the true focus.
Overall, while a book with an extremely Japanese flavor, it does transcend the barriers and gets at the inner life, the kokoro.
In one generation, the japanese went from a backwater feudal country to a world power (in 1905 they defeated both the Russian Army and Navy, the first Asian power to defeat a European nation in modern times). They built a modern navy based on the British model and an army based on the Prussian. They also totally revamped their education system, so that it emphasised science and mathematics.
The "Meiji" generation, was the one that stood in both cultures, they had been children of the old and adults in the new. They were much like the first generation of an immigrant familly, that still spoke their "native" language, but lived totally in the American culture.
Any sociologist will tell you that 'these' people are never really comfortable in either. They feel sad about 'deserting' their heritage; but also envy those who feel so at home in the new country. An immigrant child will always admit that they themselves fail to see how well they fit in; they only see where they are lacking. They also tend to be very self critical.
This book handles these problems in a very japanese way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reading this book was like having a bland meal with a table of dullards.Published 1 day ago by Dr Funk
The edge of the papers were watermarks. But that is what the owner said. The shipping was nice though.Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
Used at Western Washington University around 2008. Really interesting book!
Like most people, I rely on honest product reviews to make purchase decisions. Read more
since I grew up in Japan and read it when I was like 13 or 14, I have enjoyed it very much.Published 2 months ago by Yoriko Birdie
Writer keeps reader in suspense until a final life-shattering event.Published 3 months ago by Rocky
The story of rivals in love is not necessarily original and certainly this book does not provide any suspense or excitement in the storytelling. Read morePublished 4 months ago by whj
This book has been on my reading list for a long time and finally I read it. I liked it a lot and I am happy that I found the time to read itPublished 4 months ago by Marvin