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Sanshiro

Mineko looked at him. He sat on the grass again.  It was then that Sanshiro knew somewhere deep inside: this woman was too much for him.  He felt, too, a vague sense of humiliation accompanying the awareness that he had been seen through.

Still looking at him, Mineko said, “Lost child.”

He did not respond.

“Do you know how to translate that into English?”

The question was too unexpected.  Sanshiro could answer neither that he knew nor than he did not know.

“Shall I tell you?”

“Please”

“‘Stray sheep.’ Do you understand?”

 

“You ought to listen to your mother,” Professor Hirota began. “Young men nowadays are to self-aware, their egos are too strong-unlike the young men of my own day.  When I was a student, there wasn’t a thing we did that was unrelated to others.  It was all for the Emperor, or parents, or the country, or society.  Everything was other-centered, which means that all educated men were hypocrites.  When society changed, hypocrisy stopped working, as a result of which we started importing self- centeredness into through and action, and egoism became all we have are hypervillains Have you ever heard the word ‘hypervillain’ before”

from Soseki Natsume “Sanshiro” (Translated by Jay Rubin)

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Ehime, Japan in January, 2009.

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