Many of the AKB girls have been given a book to read and do a book report on in partnership with Shueisha for their “Natsuichi Toshokan” project. Nishino Miki’s essay was on “Kokoro”, a novel by famous writer Natsume Souseki. Here is the original source for Miki’s essay [こころを読んで]
Nishino Miki: “Reading Kokoro [Heart]”
For me, who doesn’t like reading very much, this book was very difficult, and at first I didn’t really understand much. However, while reading it, I began to understand a bit about the emotions of the human heart: loneliness, envy, and other sad and painful emotions that I have not personally experienced.
I think that lying at the heart of Sensei’s pain are two things. One is the fact that he was betrayed by a relative. The second is that he drove his good friend to suicide.
Whatever happens, you should be able to rely on your parents. But Sensei’s parents died very early on. Among all of his grief and solitude, he was betrayed by his relative. When I think of how overcome with sadness he must have been, it wrenches my heart.
I believe that emotion was a deep scar that never faded, even until the very end of his life. Yet even while harboring that emotion, Sensei was able to face K and betray him. Thinking about how such a matter can cause so many different human emotions to come out is rather frightening. With K’s suicide, Sensei would be in pain his whole life. In the end, until the last, he was probably lonely to the depths of his heart. Sensei should have hated the uncle who he placed his trust in and was then betrayed by, but he did the same thing to K. In the end, Sensei’s “heart” was dominated by regret and, sadly, he ended his life.
I think the “heart” that every human possesses is a complicated thing. I am still in middle school, and there is still so much I don’t understand. But in the long life ahead of me, by tasting many different feelings and emotions, the “heart” inside myself will likely continue to change. When, at that time, I read this book again, I wonder if I will see a “heart” I wasn’t able to see this time. This has become a book I would like to read over and over again.