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Kokoro

Average Rating 4
( 36 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 11 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted March 11, 2010

    Surprisingly good

    I had to read this book for a Japanese Literature class. It is a slightly slower read but still enjoyable. To really appreciate it, it is helpful to have a little background of Japanese history. Learning about the author's history is also interesting to compare and contrast Sensei and the Narrator in Kokoro to the author, Natsume Soseki.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 10, 2008

    Kokuro, a classic

    What is the true nature of human beings? Kokuro, by Natsume Soseki, explores the answer to this question. ¿Give a gentlemen money, and he will soon turn into a rouge.¿ ;( Soseki, 64) this is the opinion of a man known as Sensei, who lives in the Meiji era doing nothing with his life. The narrator of this book is a young man determined to learn about sensei¿s past. I recommend this book because it is an engaging story with realistic characters. <BR/> One of Kokuro¿s strengths is that it has realistic characters. A character in the book, after being betrayed by someone close to them, develops trust issues. `I had come to distrust people¿.¿ (Soseki, 150) Characters in the book react realistically to things in the story. This is a believable narrative. Some reactions may surprise you, but they are not without merit.<BR/> Another of Kokuro¿s strengths is that its story draws the reader in. The pursuit of Sensei¿s past stabs at the narrator and the reader until Sensei¿s secrets are finally revealed. Sensei even hints at one point that his past is so dramatic that `It will be with me I suppose, until I die¿. (Soseki, 66)<BR/> Some may argue that Kokuro doesn¿t give enough closure once you reach the final page. The ending of this book may leave many asking questions. Natsume Soseki leaves the narrative open for every reader to interpret their own way. No two people who read this book will have the exact same view of the ending. This is good as it can lead to open ended discussion of the book befitting a true classic. <BR/> Kokuro is an engaging tale of mystery, death, and human nature. This book has withstood the test of time and will continue to do so for many years to come. I recommend this fine piece of literature to anyone who comes across it. This story of a broken man in the midst of the Meiji era is true literary gold.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    'Kokoro'

    How can a secret hurt you? How can it keep you from having any friends and a good relationship with your wife? This is a problem with Sensei, the main character in the novel Kokoro by Natsume Soseki. The conflict is that Sensei is holding a secret that nobody knows, even his wife. It takes Sensei a long time to say what his secret is but when he does finally say it, it will hurt people badly. The story Kokoro takes place in Tokyo during the Meiji Period. There is a lot to learn about Sensei in the novel Kokoro. Sensei is an older man and is not a nice person until he meets the narrator. During the whole book at least once a month Sensei would take flowers to a grave. ¿It was Sensei¿s custom to take flowers to a certain grave in the cemetery at Zoshigaya.¿ (Soseki 9) Nobody ever goes to the cemetery with Sensei, not even his wife Shizu. The narrator goes with Sensei to the cemetery now because he¿s trying to find out why and who he¿s taking the flowers to. He¿s trying to see if this is a part of the secret Sensei doesn¿t have a good relationship with anybody. Sensei and Shizu don¿t act like husband and wife. They hardly talk to each other, and when they do, they don¿t have a lot to say. Sensei and Shizu don¿t go out together anywhere. Shizu is basically the maid of the house. As soon as Sensei meets the Narrator a lot of that changes. Sensei starts to go out a lot more to take walks and visit people. Sensei, Shizu, and the Narrator hang out with each other now. They have dinner together, talk more and have a better relationship. Sensei¿s and Shizu¿s relationship expands a lot ever since Sensei met the Narrator. This is strength because Sensei and Shizu are finally acting like a wife and a husband. They are talking more and doing more stuff together like going out. This book is recommended to people who are really interested in Japan and want to know more about the cultures in Japan. If you are interested in a mystery, then you will like the novel Kokoro by Natsume Soseki.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    YOUR SECRETS SAFE WITH ME

    ¿Then I would think of death. Killing myself seemed as just a punishment for my sins. Finally, I decide to go on living as if I were dead.' (Natsume 243) The main character, Sensei lived his life as if he was lifeless, until he met the narrator. They started to hang out and have conversation more than they both thought they would until the narrator sensed that Sensei was hiding something. Now it¿s up to Sensei to determine if keeping in secrets worth your life. In the book Kokoro reveals the true meaning of friendship, love, trust, and secrecy. So read along with the journey on Japanese culture and beliefs during the Meiji period. There is one main weakness in Kokoro and that is the theme. The theme of the book is that it¿s better to let secrets out than keep them in because secrets are not your friends. In part III of the novel, Sensei becomes the narrator. In his testament, he asks, ¿Is it not natural that I should want to give this thing, which is mines, to someone before I die? At least that¿s how I feel. On the other hand, I would rather see it destroyed, with my life, than offer it to someone who doesn¿t want it.¿ The theme of Kokoro sends a good message but the outcome of the theme made it weak. There are also two main strengths and they are the characterization and the descriptive language. The problems that the characters go through are based on real life dilemmas. They experience so many ups and downs that the reader feels like he/she is in the book as well. The main character, the narrator, is appealing in so many ways for the simple fact that he's outgoing, different, and very noisy. Another strength of the book is the descriptive language. For example, Sensei questions himself in his testament, 'Should I go on living as I do now, like a mummy left in the midst of a living being, or should I.....?' (Soseki 125).Another example of this descriptive language is when Sensei states, ¿The freedom that I now have, however, is no more than an earthly, physical kind of freedom, which will not last forever.' This sentence makes you wonder what he's talking about and how he wants you to see it. It makes you want to read further and further till you finish. . I recommend this book to teenagers growing up who keep everything bundled up inside. They should read this book to determine if they¿ll ever hold something big inside again.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    Book Review for Kokoro

    `¿A friend of mine happens to be buried there¿. ¿And you visit his grave every month?¿ ¿Yes¿. ¿Sensei told me no more that day¿¿ '16'. With this and more mysteries, the narrator, a Japanese student living in Japan during the Meiji Period, tells the story of an unknown friend, whom he calls ¿Sensei.¿ Sensei hides a dark past filled with secrets. Kokoro by Natsume Soseki is a story filled with many life lessons such as love, trust, compassion, wisdom, being open-minded, and many other things that all young people can learn about. The story is somewhat poetic. Mystery and descriptive language engages readers to keep reading. An example of the language in the book is the following- ¿On a cold, rainy day in November, I walked home as usual through the grounds of the temple of Konnyaku-Emma and up the narrow lane that led to the house¿ '96'. The story is first told by the narrator, which is mostly about his views with Sensei and Sensei¿s wife, ¿Shizu.¿ Later, Sensei reveals his dark past in his testament. The testament starts with Sensei losing a lot of his fortune, studying in college and university, and falling in love with the landlady¿s daughter in the boarding house where he resides. Sensei¿s weaknesses are seen thoroughly in the testament. Later, Sensei invites a school friend to live with him named ¿K¿. As a result, K also falls in love with ¿Ojosan¿, the landlady¿s daughter. ¿Are you going to keep your love for Ojosan a secret, or are you going to do something about it?¿ '21'. The conclusions toward those events lead to a shocking and revealing ending. With a mixture of historical fiction, readers are immersed into the world of Kokoro. Readers learn historical information about the Meiji Period in Japan, as well as living conditions during these times. With its enchanting words, Kokoro gives an insight in making the right decisions in life and their impacts. Natsume Soseki is still a favorite author of many contemporary Japanese readers. Possibly, the best writer of the Meiji Period, Soseki¿s Kokoro indeed is an unforgettable treasure for life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2007

    Book Review

    Denzel Henderson Humanities 1/9/07 Book Review It¿s nice how authors can write a story and make it sound so real when its not. In the Japanese novel Kokoro, the author writes about real life situation when the protagonist, the narrator, meets a mysterious man who he calls Sensei and becomes his apprentice. The novel, written by Natsume Soseki, is about the missing piece of the puzzle in a boy¿s life. The narrator in the story does not have a father figure but has a father, so the narrator clings on to the sensei and looks at him as a role model, a friend and a father figure. Set in Japan, Kokoro is a story about family and friendship. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read realistic fiction. One strength of this novel is that the author makes you feel like you are literally in the book as you read it. The author also relates the book to real life situations when I say the author relates the book to real life situations I mean, in the book the narrator has a father but his father is not a father figure, and situations happen like that in the world. The author also makes the characters seem real in the story. ¿Sensei had just taken his clothes off and was about to go for a swim when I first laid eyes on him in the tea house.¿(pg.3) While the story is mostly realistic, some parts are confusing. My favorite part of the book is when the narrator first sees sensei and wants him to be his teacher. ¿Whenever the memory of him comes back to me now, I find that I think of him as ¿sensei¿ still.¿(pg.1) The reason it is confusing is because the narrator says he remembers Sensei, but at the time he was not dead. One weakness of this novel is the lack of description. The author does not describe how the characters look, nor does he describe the setting. . The narrator of the story didn¿t even have a name. As well, there¿s almost no figurative language in the book. This is a weakness because a story without sensory details is kind of dull and boring. However the strengths of Kokoro outweigh the weaknesses. I strongly recommend this novel to anyone who likes to read realistic books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    Kokoro

    Have you ever been through all the different levels of friendship or family relationships? If not, then you should read Kokoro Natsume Soseki. Kokoro, a novel approximately 255 pages in length, takes place in Japan after the Meiji Restoration. The main characters in the story are the narrator, a university student, and his mentor, Sensei. Throughout the story, the conflict is that Sensei is very lonely during the last days of his life, and the only way to escape his loneliness is through death. The other two characters you should pay attention to are the narrator¿s father and Sensei¿s wife, who both are involved in the conflict. I would definitely recommend Kokoro, especially if you are in a relationship with a close friend. The story would teach you about commitment and how to help someone when they need it the most. Strength of Kokoro is the characterization. The protagonist is Sensei and the antagonist is the narrator because he is the opposition with whom Sensei must contend. Sensei is a round character because of his realistic personality. ¿And for Sensei the protagonist of Kokoro, the only means of escape from loneliness is death.¿ The narrator is a dynamic character because he changes significantly during the course of the story. The narrator changes through the teaching of life of by his companionship with Sensei. Kokoro¿s characterization allows the reader to get a closer look at how characters act throughout the whole story. Although the characterization is great, the greatest strength is the theme. The lesson that it teaches is how to learn about the different levels of relationships, as I had said in the beginning. ¿In the course of this exploration, Soseki brilliantly describes different levels of friendship, family relationships, and the devices by which men attempt to escape from their fundamental loneliness.¿ The theme is communicated through the different perspectives of the two main characters we learn how one trusts another to later on also learn about each other¿s past and future lifetime. One weakness of this book is the lack of action and humor. Another weakness is the lack of description of the character¿s features. For example, when we first encounter the narrator¿s mother we only are told about how she acted. ¿My mother was surprisingly optimistic and unconcerned.¿ The lack of the character¿s features made it hard for me to look at the imagery or figurative language in the story. Finally, this is why I recommend this to anyone who would like to read about how far a relationship between two friends would go when one is having problems with his loneliness and the other with his family. Kokoro by Natsume Soseki is a great book to read because of how the story is told through the perspectives from the main characters. You would learn about how the characters came to be and how strong of a relationship both posses.

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    Posted March 3, 2009

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    Posted May 30, 2011

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    Posted June 9, 2011

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