“A Personal Letter,” by Yaeko Nogami
I started reading Rousseau a few days ago. Its translation is very well done, so I am devouring it. I read yesterday, that Rousseau apparently liked eating while reading. I couldn’t help smiling given my own rather voracious appetite. It was wonderfully reassuring to know I had such an influential ally. A cozy room blessed with quiet autumn sunlight, a desk with my favorite books, good tea, a couple of sliced pastries, and a few quiet hours… I hope the significance of these cherished moments forever remain irreplaceable.
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…I’ve always thought a remarkably cultured person is one who has similar qualities to those of an educator, and never felt more strongly that the growth and decay of a country’s culture cannot be separated from its education.
A great educator, I think, is not a person who imposes upon us a particular system or idea, but who encourages each individual to strive to better themselves.
Yaeko’s essays promote that effect, and are in that sense, very valuable to the country’s culture. Possessing an abundance of knowledge, and sharing it on the page shouldn’t bruise a reader’s ego, but instead, directly or indirectly, stimulate their desire to be better.
She was a writer, but didn’t only cling to writing novels…
Hiroko Takenishi in the Afterward to the same book.