The Foresight of Natsume Sōseki

The majority of writers just makes noise, but some can see well ahead of their time.

I find Japanese novelist Natsume Sōseki such kind of writer. As early as 1908, he wrote in Sanshirō that “Japan is going to perish.” His advice: “Even bigger than Japan is the inside of your head. Don’t ever surrender yourself – not to Japan, not to anything.”

That was written at the height of international respect for Japan – merely 6 years into the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and 3 years after Japan won the Russo-Japanese War – and nearly four decades before Japan perished in atomic bombs.

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