Watsuji Tetsurō’s Memory of Natsume Sōseki: A Translation of “Until I met Sōseki” and “Sōseki’s Character”

Journal of East Asian Philosophy:1-18 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

The following translation is an extract from the third chapter of Watsuji Tetsurō’s Hidden Japan [埋もれた日本] 1951. The translation is composed of two sections: “Until I met Sōseki” [漱石に逢うまで], and “Sōseki’s Character” [漱石の人物]. The former section discusses Watsuji’s indirect encounters with Natsume, namely, reading Natsume’s work as it was serialized in literary magazines during the Meiji era (1868–1912) and the impression Watsuji formed of Natsume as a teacher at Tokyo First Higher School (Ichikō). The latter section discusses Natsume as Watsuji’s personal acquaintance. Here the focus is on how Watsuji came to know Natsume through participating in the famous Thursday Club [木曜会], which was held at Natsume’s home, Sōseki Sanbō [漱石山房]. The contributions of this translation to the literature are threefold: it i) provides a multidimensional account of Natsume, ii) offers insight into the legendary Thursday Club, and iii) also tells us about Watsuji himself.

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Kyle Michael James Shuttleworth
Akita International University (国際教養大学)

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