Contact Us Sitemap
Natsume Soseki Japanese Essay Competition: Call for entries!

To mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Natsume Soseki (1867-1916), the Asahi Shimbun Co., in co-operation with the Japan Foundation, Iwanami Shoten Publishers and Ferris University, is inviting entries for an international essay contest on the continuing appeal of the influential Japanese author’s works among foreigners.

Soseki, one of Japan's most famed and popular authors, lived in Japan’s period of transition to a modern society. His works have been extensively translated overseas and his representative work, “Kokoro” (Heart), has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Content of Essay:  Participants are required to write essays in Japanese about Soseki’s appeal, which remains strong even today. The theme of the competition is “Soseki and I”, and essays submitted should include the circumstances about when the participant read Soseki’s work for the first time (title of the work, when, where, in what language and why). Essays must be 2,000 Japanese characters or less.

Eligibility: Entries for the essay competition will be accepted from those living overseas or in Japan whose native language is not Japanese. For those residing in Japan, their stay in the country must be less than two years. International students studying in Japan are also eligible to participate.

Prizes: Three winners (including one first prize winner, and two runners up) will be invited to attend a symposium on Natsume Soseki which will be held at the Yurakucho Asahi Hall in Tokyo on 10th December 2016.

Deadline for entries : Applications are now open and will close on 10 August 2016.

For further information including details on how to apply, please visit:

Good luck to everyone taking part!

Note: The Japan Foundation is not responsible for receiving applications