Sanshiro/Soseki Natsume

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Many people are attracted by Sanshiro!

Sanshiro is Japanese famous novel written by Soseki Natsume in 1908. It is the first novel of the trilogy in his early period.

Sanshiro Ogawa who is a main character in this novel goes to Tokyo from Kyushu area to enroll at the Tokyo University. He feels and thinks various things through various students and intellectuals in Tokyo because Kyushu area is countryside.

This novel is constructed by his campus life with youth and love. Many people read this novel as youthful story or love story between Sanshiro and Mineko. Mineko is heroine of this novel meets Sanshiro on the train. On the premise that this novel is love story, people feel that Mineko is a playgirl because she lead him astray with her sweet-talking words.

However, this novel is not classic love story because Sanshiro never say "I love you" or "I want you" to Mineko. She also never say that to him. They don't go steady in the end.

Stray sheep is considered the word for deep understanding this novel. Stray sheep is known as the word of New Testament. In this novel, this word appears when Sanshiro and Mineko lose their ways. This word means not only losing their ways but also she has a lot of worries on her mind.

You can assume what her worries are, but her worries are not accounted for or explained in the end. Sanshiro also undergoes a mental conflict after hearing her words. However, he cannot solve them because he is also stray sheep. Some people think the main theme of this novel is how to face worries and conflicts, or loneliness is the common a lot of man.

By the way, some people think what Sanshiro feels in the city is what Soseki felt in the beginning of Meiji period(1868-1912). Japan in Meiji period were modernizing rapidly to catch up with European and American countries. Most Japanese including Soseki struggled to modernize and confused about that. Some people think Soseki describe that to hand down to posterity.

Sanshiro allows of several different interpretations. Many people are attracted by this novel because of that.