Check out Episode 8 of the Read Japanese Literature podcast.
In this episode, we’re looking at the Meiji Era of Japanese history and its literature.
The shogunate is replaced.
Japan looks outward to the West and inward toward itself.
And a man named Natsume Sōseki chronicles it all from the perspective of a stray cat.
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I Am a Cat by Natsume Soseki
Kusamakura by Natsume Soseki
More by Soseki:
Find Out More
A synopsis of I am a Cat via Somesmart.com
The Meiji at 150 Project at UBC
The History of Japan Podcast, hosted by Isaac Meyer
Linfamy’s Japanese History and Folktales YouTube Channel
Understanding Japan: A Cultural History by Professor Mark J. Ravina. Produced by The Great Courses, 2015.
- 17: The Meiji Restoration
“Literature” at Japanese Wiki Corpus
Japanese Literature at Facebook
Fujii, James A. “Contesting the Meiji Subject: Sōseki’s Neko Reconsidered” in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 1989.
Kenne, Donald. “Natsume Sōseki” in Dawn to the West: Japanese Literature of the Modern Era—Fiction, 4th ed., Columbia, 1999.
Marcus, Marvin. Japanese Literature from Murasaki to Murakami. Association for Asian Studies, 2015.
McClellan, Edwin. “An Introduction to Sōseki” in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 1959.
McKinney, Meredith. “Introduction” in Kusamakura. Penguin Classics, 2008.
Fillmore, Millard. Letter to the Emperor of Japan, 13 November 1852.
Gordon, Andrew. A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present, 4th ed. OUP, 2019.
Nathan, Richard. Soseki’s Cat: A Quantum Leap for Japanese Literature at RedCircleAuthors.com, 2021.
Perry, Matthew C. Letter to the Emperor of Japan, 14 July 1853.