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No collection of Japanese literature is complete without Kokoro, Natsume Soseki's most successful novel, his most profound work, and the last one he completed before his death. Coinciding with the centennial of the novel's original publishing comes this new translation of Soseki's masterpiece, which foreshadowed Akutagawa, Kawabata, and Murakami. Kokoro (Japanese for "heart") tells the story of a subtle, moving friendship between two nameless characters, a young man and an enigmatic old man referred to as Sensei. Tortured by tragic secrets that have cast an enormous shadow on his life, Sensei slowly opens himself up to his young disciple, confessing indiscretions from his days as a student that have left a trail of guilt and that reveal—in the seemingly insurmountable abyss of his moral anguish and his fight to understand the mysteries of love and fate—the profound cultural change from one generation to the next that characterized Japan at the beginning of the 20th century.
"The great Japanese modern novel." —Booklist, starred review, on the English-language edition
"One of the honorable ancestors of a brilliant generation of novels." —New York Times, on the English-language edition
"This elegant novel . . . suffuses the reader with a sense of old Japan." —Los Angeles Times, on the English-language edition
"Soseki is the representative modern Japanese novelist, a figure of truly national stature." —Haruki Murakami, author, Kafka on the Shore