Botchan (1906) is a novel by Natsume Sōseki. Inspired by his experience as a teacher on the island of Shikoko, Sōseki composed a beloved tale of growth and moral decency that continues to be read in Japan and around the world to this day. Filled with humorous asides and heartwarming scenes, Botchan is a classic bildungsroman from one of Japan's most successful twentieth century writers.
Ever since his childhood days in Tokyo, Botchan has experienced bouts of "hereditary recklessness," an inability to think and act as others expect him to. Frequently injured, always in trouble, he develops a reputation in his neighborhood as a young rapscallion, a misfit at home and in school. When his mother dies unexpectedly, Botchan is raised by Kiyo, his family's elderly servant, who sees something in him no one else has been able to recognize. Through positive reinforcement and a focus on fostering good morals, she helps Botchan achieve a certain amount of respectability without forcing him to sacrifice his fiercely independent nature. He excels in school and finds a job as a middle school math teacher on the island of Shikoku. Thinking the days of schoolyard drama are behind him, he is surprised to discover that the antics and conflicts inherent to boyhood are rampant among his fellow teachers. Joining forces with Porcupine, he sets out to dethrone head teacher Red Shirt, who indiscriminately wields his power over colleagues and students alike. Hilarious and eminently human, Botchan is a beloved story of class, morality, and conflict from a master of Japanese fiction.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Natsume Sōseki's Botchan is a classic work of Japanese literature reimagined for modern readers.