A classic Japanese novel, written over a hundred years ago, fairly short novel but quite profound. It’s a story about friendship and loneliness, and is divided into three equal parts. The first part deals with the author and Sensei, a reserved but intellectual man. Sensei seems to be wise but doesn’t really do anything, and is reluctant to share personal details. The second part deals with the author and his relation to his parents in the countryside. The third part is about Sensei’s history, and his relation to K, and the story of how he courted his wife. In the end, Sensei feels guilty that he caused K to commit suicide, and eventually commits suicide too.
This seems like a common pattern in Japanese literature, that they want to be polite and hide their true feelings toward each other, and are never brave enough to confront their feelings, which end up bottled inside and hurting themselves. Then in the end they cannot deal with it anymore and commit suicide. I think this is a good example of the Japanese attitude towards politeness.