On September 23rd, Dr. William Ridgeway gave a talk on his translation of Nowaki, a novel written by the famous Meiji-era writer, Natsume Soseki. Dr. Ridgeway received his Ph.D. at University of Hawai’i at Manoa in the East Asian Language and Literature department. With approximately 30 people in attendance, Dr. Ridgeway was welcomed back by his former colleagues and teachers.
At first blush, Nowaki–the last Natsume Soseki novel to be translated into English, may seem like a minor work due to its brevity and because it does not belong to the heftier, more “serious” novels that Soseki wrote for the Asahi Shinbun, from 1907 until his death in 1916. However, Dr. Ridgeway’s talk stressed the novel’s importance–that through its style and content, Nowaki may have served as a blueprint for Soseki’s other novels.