One of my inspirations for reading Nastume Soseki's novel Sanshiro (1907) is that this edition is a new translation by Jay Rubin, know for his translations of Haruki Murakami's novels. Furthermore, this edition also includes an introduction by Murakami. In fact the Introduction and Translator's notes were as interesting as the novel. Murakami explains how and when he became a fan of Soseki and how this novel in particular mirrored his own coming of age in Tokyo. He mentions that Soseki's first three novels are his favorites (And Yet, The Gate, and Sanshiro), so I plan to read the two other novels at some point as well. Rubin discusses the real life parallels of Soseki being chosen to replace Lafcadio Hearn as literature professor at Tokyo University, where much of the novel takes places and has several references to these events. Sanshiro comes to the big city from rural Kumamoto in Kyushu and meets all kinds of characters and learns to make his way in the world as a student in Tokyo. The opening sequences that Murakmai says reflects his journey form Kobe to Tokyo are among the strongest in the book, the rest of the story concerning minor characters and acquaintances of Sanshiro were less compelling to me.