Buy Used
£43.72
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by BookWorld UK
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: New/giftable condition. Delivered in 14-20 business days
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Kokoro: A novel (Library of Japanese literature) Unknown Binding – 1969

4.1 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
£43.72
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 248 pages
  • Publisher: C. E. Tuttle; [1st Tuttle ed.] edition (1969)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006C7KMI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A young student befriends an older man in Tokyo. The older one's intellectual abilities, and his sophistication gains him the title of 'Sensei' - roughly approximating 'teacher' or 'master' - from the younger one.

Though he likes him well enough, Sensei does nothing to encourage the young man's growing attachment to him. This only increases the student's interest in Sensei's life, who responds finally to his overtures of friendship and respect thus: 'I do not want your admiration now, because I do not want your insults in the future. I bear with my loneliness now in order to avoid greater loneliness in the years ahead. You see, loneliness is the price we have to pay for being born in this modern age, so full of freedom, independence, and our own egotistical selves'.

The novel is structured in three parts. The first two are narrated by the student, and the third is a 'testament' in letter form by Sensei, outlining the story of his life, and explaining why he has for so long withdrawn from the outside world.

Sensei's testament is a profound self-examination and self-criticism, mostly revolving around his selfish and manipulative actions, in his own student days, when he and his friend (a fellow student) were both in love with the same girl (now Sensei's wife). This behaviour leads, in the end, to catastrophic results for his friend. From that period on, though Sensei has appeared outwardly normal and happy, his life has been completely blighted.

What makes the novel such a significant work for Western readers (other than its literary excellence) is the distinctly Japanese point of view it brings to an old story. This new perspective brings up a large number of worrying (because unanswerable) questions.
Read more ›
1 Comment 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 18 May 1999
Format: Paperback
With _Kokoro_ Natsume Soseki did what English-speaking authors apparently can't do: tell a story of (non-sexual) passion, betrayal, sadness, and above all a pervading, unbearable loneliness, all without being the least bit melodramatic. It's understated and almost dispassionate on the one hand, but profound and moving on the other. The author's understanding of the ordinariness (but vast importance) of the tragedy that is life is brilliant. One of the most underrated and underread of twentieth-century novels, and this is a great translation, to top it off.
Comment 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. Written in a clear, simple style, it tells of the relationship between a lonely and disaffected scholar and a young and mostly directionless student, set in early Twentieth century Japan. The story focuses on the nature of their relationship, and the student's growing interest in just why the scholar ('Sensei') is so disaffected by society and disappointed with humanity in general.
The characters feel real; their relationship is, though difficult to understand, fascinating; and the book just feels coherent, the final third being particularly fascinating as the culmination of the story. It offers a particularly Japanese view of things, and it is all the more interesting as an examination of the modern world. I find it difficult to explain exactly why I like this book, but it deserves its place in the canon of great Japanese literature.
Comment 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
A stunningly wonderful work of art. Once I started it I had to put everything aside until it was finished. It is very slow, but in a beautiful way, slow, and open, and thinly populated, like a dream world. It moves like a slow clear river, but all of a sudden there is an abrupt and dangerous waterfall, or a great fish with sharp teeth leaps out of a quiet pool. At one point I was reading it in the Tokyo Grill on Yonge Street and the young waitress was very surprised. She said she had tried to read it but found it too slow; her mother, however, claimed that it was her favourite book of all time. She also reiterated what I had heard, that even today it is very popular in Japan. There are only two problems in the book - the unnamed narrator who leave his father's deathbed and travels to Tokyo to try to save his sensei's life, we do not hear any more from him after Sensei's story is told, and we do not know what has happened. Also we do not find out anything about the mysterious Westerner who appears with Sensei at the beginning of the book, attracting the narrator, and then disappearing. I am very glad I read this book, I feel more of a human being for having read it, and I feel sorry for people who have died without having read it. I've read many wonderful and famous novels this year, but this is the best.
Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kokoro is a book that can only be described as gentle, soft and heartbreaking. Written in a typical Japanese style the plot is more about the feelings of the main characters and how that affects their relationships and their actions. The ending is also typically Japanese, heartbreaking. The readers often find themselves comparing their own relationships with the ones so gracefully described in this book. Reading it will give anyone a new way of looking at love, hate, relationships but most importantly it is a beautiful poetic piece of literature that will be treasured for life.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback