Ten Nights' Dreams

by Natsume Soseki Translated by Takumi Kashima, Translated by Loretta R. Lorenz



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 2/26/2007

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5x8
Page Count : 80
ISBN : 9781552123959
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 80
ISBN : 9781412241298

About the Book

This collection of ten connected stories or dreams has a surrealistic atmosphere. Some are weird, others are grotesquely funny. Among the ten nights, the first, second, third, and fifth nights start with the same sentence "This is the dream I dreamed." Whether Sosecki actually had these dreams or whether they were complete fictions is not known.

About the Author

Natsume Soseki is a novelist and scholar of English literature. He ranks with Mori Ogai (1862-1922) as major figure in modern Japanese literature. Among his works, Wagahai wa Neko de Aru (I am A Cat) and Bochan (Master Darling) are especially known to almost every Japanese and are read even by primary school pupils. His portrait is printed on the Japanese 1,000-yen note.

Soseki was sent to England as a government-sponsored student when he was a teacher at the fifth Higher School in Kumanmoto Prefecture. It was at the time that japan gave up its national isolation policy and was emerging as a modern state. He experienced this historical turning point during his stay in London. On arriving in London, one of the first things he saw was the returning soldiers from the Boer War being mobbed in the streets. One year later began the twentieth century and the British Empire faced the death of Queen Victoria. In 1902, Japan and Great Britain signed the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. A sense of scepticism toward the progress of civilization was fostered by Soseki's reading of Karl Marx's Das Kapital, among other things. His interest in Natural Science arose through his friendship in London with a Japanese scientist, Ikeda Kikunae. He was in a position to compare the states of two different nations and to see the Japanese civilization from another perspective. When he began writing novels, his experience in England was naturally reflected in his works. On returning home, Sosecki replaced Lafcadio Hearn at the First Higher School and at Tokyo Imperial University where he lectured on literary theory. Eventually he gave up teaching and began writing for the Asahi Shimbun where he spent many years before his death.