Tuesday, January 10, 2012
My teacher Natsume Soseki's granddaughter
"Wagahai wa nekodearu" Every Japanese growing up has heard this phrase, which means "I am a cat". It was written by a modern Japanese writer Natsume Soseki. It was one of the first modern literature written from an animal's point of view and this book and phrase Mrs. Yoko McClain who turned out to be the granddaughter of Soseki. She was a gentle, small women, with a quick wit and small rimed glasses. She came to America as a Fulbright Scholar when she was young and ended up in Eugene, Oregon where she studied, taught, married and raised her family. Long after I graduated from the U of O we kept in touch and last year when I was in Eugene I went to visit her. We talked about many of my classmates she still kept in touch with and the lectures she had given. But of course she talked mostly about her grandson. I am so glad that I took the time to go see her then. Unfortunately she passed away in November of 2011. Mrs. McClain I will truly miss you....
at 8:12 PM