The Heredity of Taste (Tuttle Classics of Japanese Literature)
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Still timely after nearly half a century, The Heredity of Taste is Soseki Natsume’s only antiwar work. The heartbreaking story of love shattered by the realities of battle reveals Soseki’s attitude toward the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–5.
With an introduction by Steven W. Kohl, University of Oregon.
head." And upon that I escaped. For the reason I have mentioned, I hesitated a little in paying her another visit. However, it was impossible to deny that I wanted to read that diary. If she burst into tears to a reasonable extent, I thought I could bear it. I am not made of wood or stone, and I am capable of showing compassion when faced with another person's misfortune, but I am not talkative by nature and get embarrassed when I have to express my feelings in words. In those circumstances, I
experienced such a feeling of contentment. There was no doubt about it. The woman of the Jakko-in was this young Onoda lady. I had never considered myself as a man of such penetrating powers of deduction. Here was a perfect example, with proof to support it, demonstrating the validity of my long-held views on the transmission of attraction. When Romeo saw Juliet for the first time he recognized immediately that she was destined for him, without a shadow of a doubt, taking account of the tens of
gods shouted to the dogs "Drink the blood!" Tongues darted out effortlessly like flames and lit up the dark earth with their brilliance. The sound of blood spurting down the beasts' throats echoed across the plains. Then the gods, walking on the edge of the black clouds, clamored "Devour the flesh!" again and again. "Devour the flesh! Devour the flesh!" The dogs all reared up, barking with one voice. Then, without further delay, they tore limbs to pieces with sinister crunching sounds. Opening
the road, and that some Westerners who had come to watch the ceremony were now mingling with the crowd. As even Westerners were participating I, a subject of the Emperor, must surely be there to welcome home the soldiers. Telling myself that I really had to go and shout "Banzai!" I slipped into the crowd and joined the queue. "Have you come here to welcome home a relation too? I was really frightened of being late and came here without any lunch. I've been waiting for two hours." However hungry
Similarly, there was a great outcry in the fall of 2002 when proposed high school textbooks submitted for approval by the Ministry of Education did not include selections from the oeuvre of Sōseki Natsume. Clearly Sōseki is a literary institution in Japan, an author whose work has spoken to generations of Japanese readers, an author who, eighty years after his death, still dominates Japan's literary scene. More perhaps than any other Japanese writer, the bulk of Sōseki's works have been