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Postcards written by Soseki Natsume in the U.K. found after 100 years

JIJI

Three postcards written by the Japanese literary legend Soseki Natsume (1867-1916) over 100 years ago during his studies in Britain have been found, the prefectural government of Fukui said Wednesday.

The postcards were sent to his Japanese friends studying in Germany. In one of the postcards, written a month after Natsume arrived in London, he said he was lonely.

How Natsume spent his life in London and felt about the city are described in the postcards, which were handwritten in deliberately small letters, said Kunihiko Nakajima, honorary professor at Waseda University.

Natsume is known for novels such as “Wagahai wa Neko de Aru” (“I Am a Cat”), “Botchan” and “Kokoro.”

Two of the postcards were addressed to Teisuke Fujishiro, a scholar of German literature who served as the first dean of the literature department of Kyoto Imperial University, the predecessor of Kyoto University. The remaining one was sent to Yaichi Haga, a scholar of Japanese literature.

Natsume, Fujishiro and Haga were friends during their studies at Tokyo Imperial University, the predecessor of the University of Tokyo. They left Japan aboard the same ship in September 1900 to study abroad. Natsume spent two years in Britain.