One of the most popular novels in Japan, Botchan is the story of a young graduate who takes up his first teaching post at Matsuyama middle school in the Japanese countryside. Botchan, a native of Tokyo views Matsuyama as a small backwater town with unusual customs. Strong willed and with the spirit of Edokko, Botchan soon finds himshelf at odds with the town and with the school. Written in 1906, Botchan is based on the authors own experience as a teacher at Matsuyama Middle School in 1895 and can be viewed as semi-autobiographical.

“When they encounter somebody who’s honest and pure-hearted, they look down on him and say he’s nothing but a kid , a botchan.”


Botchan has been set in Minion Pro 11/13 x 23, a typeface designed by Robert Slimbach (1956– ) in 1990 and issued by Adobe Systems. Minion can be traced back to 1873 and found in Miller & Richards Typefounders Catalogue of the same year. The title is set in FF Meta Bold by Erik Spiekermann (1947– ) issued in 1991 and released through FontShop International.



by Natsume Soseki


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One of the most popular novels in Japan, Botchan can be viewed as semi-autobiographical, based on the authors own experience as a teacher at Matsuyama Middle School in 1895.

Book Shelf Category
Literature, Japanese Studies, Folklore, Cultural Studies, and Travel Writing

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Natsume Soseki

Natsume Sōseki (1867 - 1916), was one of Japan’s leading authors of the Meji period (1868 - 1912). Born Natsume Kinnosuke, he was a native of Tokyo where he attended school and later Tokyo Imperial University. Although Sōseki intended to become an architect, it was his friend, Japanese poet and author Masaoka Shiki (1867 - 1902) who encouraged him to pursue writing. In 1901 he became ‘Japan’s first Japanese English literary scholar’ and spent three years in the United Kingdom from 1901-1903.

Much of his work was influenced by his studies in London and the relationship between Western culture and Japanese culture. His most famous works are; I Am a Cat, Kokoro and Grass Pillow. Since 2004, the ¥1000 Japanese note has featured a portrait of Natsume Sōseki.

Photo: Ogawa Kazumasa, 1912.

Natsume Soseki

ISBN: 978-0-9567273-5-0
Format: Paperback
Release Date: 2012
Language: English
Pages: 140
Typography: Minion Pro
Dimensions: 5" x 8" (203mm x 127mm)
Weight: 170 grams


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