Sōseki Project Website

    soseki project website

    The Sōseki Project is a website that provides a number of features to make reading the works of Japanese writer Sōseki Natsume in the original Japanese more accessible for students of Japanese. The website, created by Ian Sotherland, features Sōseki's novels Botchan, Sanshirō, Kokoro, and I am a Cat, and four of his shorter works: Ten Nights of Dreams, Bunchō, The Tower of London, and Peculiar Sounds.

    Clicking on a book title takes you to a landing page that breaks the work down into different chapters. From here, each chapter is broken down further into sections, each with their own audio narration. The text is presented without furigana to start, but certain terms are underlined, and hovering your cursor over these terms will display both furigana and a definition. There's also a study guide for each section, giving a rough translation to reference if you get stuck, and a vocabulary list. Finally, the site offers PDFs of the different texts, both with and without furigana, an English translation, and the MP3 files of the narrated readings, though not every version of the text is currently available for download.

    Altogether, this is a great way for more advanced Japanese learners to get more authentic reading practice with advanced, well-known, and well-regarded classic Japanese literature. The tools offered make tackling these books a lot more digestible, while giving a student space to try and read independently before looking for help. Additionally, Sōseki is required reading for many Japanese Language and Literature graduate studies programs in the US, and the Sōseki Project helps students explore new depths in the writer's work.