May 25, 2021

Natsume Souseki’s Ten Nights of Dreams

Originally serialized in the Asahi Shimbun in 1908, Natsume Souseki wrote these ten short "dreams" in a surreal, dreamlike style. Weird, disturbing, and somewhat humorous, these short stories are like haiku—they hint at a much bigger story which is left to the reader to fish out.

If you like Salvador Dalí's artwork or the stories of Franz Kafka, you'll surely enjoy these very strange vignettes. But if you don't, well, the stories are absurd. Just like a dream. The do, however, make a great Japanese reader for intermediates of Japanese. They are short, well-written, and interesting enough to hold the reader's attention.

In the first night's dream (below), the dreamer tells us he sat at the bedside of a dying woman. She gives him a strange request. 

第一夜 The First Night

第二夜 The Second Night

第三夜 The Third Night

第四夜 The Fourth Night

第五夜 The Fifth Night

Download the Japanese text as a PDF

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