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By: (1868-1927)

Nami-ko by Kenjiro Tokutomi is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that delves into the complexities of love, duty, and personal fulfillment. The protagonist, Nami-ko, is a strong-willed and independent woman who struggles to navigate the societal expectations placed upon her. Through her journey, Tokutomi masterfully explores the constraints of tradition and the desire for individual happiness.

The writing style is elegant and poetic, drawing readers into Nami-ko's world and allowing them to empathize with her struggles and triumphs. The themes of gender roles and societal norms are timeless and resonate with readers even today.

Overall, Nami-ko is a beautifully crafted novel that offers a poignant reflection on the human experience. Tokutomi's prose is both moving and profound, making this a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of love, freedom, and self-discovery.

Book Description:
Nami-ko, a young woman of a noble Japanese family, has recently married the naval officer Takeo, the only heir of a friend of her father's. The couple is very happy together and Takeo is doing everything to create the perfect life for his wife, even more so when she contracts tuberculosis. Takeo's mother, however, sees Nami's illness as a threat to the survival of the family line. Egged on by Chijiwa, a spurned lover of Nami's and Takeo's cousin, she uses her son's absence to send Nami back to her family, thus effecting a divorce. Upon his return, Takeo is furious, but, unable to undo the divorce, he goes off to the front line in the war with China. Meanwhile, Nami is getting worse, and her only wish is to be able to see Takeo one more time...
This is the best known novel by Kenjiro Tokutomi. Written in 1899 as Hototogisu , it deals with the life of the upper classes in the early years after the Meiji Restoration, when Japan was torn between ancient traditions and modern Western influences. The novel was translated several times soon after its publication. This translation is by Sakae Shioya and E. F. Edgett from 1904.

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