Making his debut in Penguin Classics this month is the father of modern Japanese literature, Natsume Soseki. We're excited to be publishing Soseki's twentieth-century masterpiece Kusamakura in a stunning new translation, the first in English in more than forty years.
As we build our list of classics from around the world, Kusamakuraa lush and enchanting novel set in one of Japan's fabled hot spring resortsbecomes our second modern Japanese classic; our first was Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, which we published in our Graphic Classics series a year ago in a brilliant new translation featuring nine stories that had never before been published in English, and with a wonderful introduction by Haruki Murakami and a dazzling cover by the manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi.
Soseki was an important influence on Akutagawa. In fact his influence can be seen throughout the twentieth century, in the work of Yasunari Kawabata, Junichiro Tanizaki, Yukio Mishima, Kobo Abe, and all the way up to Haruki Murakami, who has written that Soseki "is read by virtually everyone in Japan who receives a middle-school education," and who counts him as one of his two personal favorites among Japan's greatest writers.