‘Soseki, Kumamoto, Ushigome, and Myself’: Some Happy Coincidences


You may recall that I wrote in an earlier blog post (in Japanese) on the 8th of July about how a chance encounter eventually led to The Royal Ballet touring the disaster-stricken areas of Kumamoto in a show of solicitude. I also provided a sample of the extensive media coverage of this happy event.

A week later. I received a phone call from Kumamoto prefecture Governor Kabashima about an episode at a press conference. When he was explaining to the assembled reporters that the sudden visit of The Royal Ballet was thanks to his friend, Dr. Kurokawa, one of the reporters asked whether this Mr. Kurokawa was related in any way to Soseki Kurokawa.

“Well, that person is my great grandfather”, I replied. “I am also eager to know more about this ‘other Soseki’, so is it possible for you to put me in contact with the reporter who asked this question?”

A few days after this conversation, I received a letter along with some documents. Enclosed also was a request to write a short article to be included in a pamphlet that would accompany the program of a theatrical production called ‘I Love Kumamoto: Four Years and Three Months of Soseki’. This production would be touring Kumamoto and Tokyo in October and December, respectively. For those who are interested, here is my piece (in Japanese).

‘Soseki, Kumamoto, Ushigome, and myself’. I would never have expected so many happy coincidences.

Japan is commemorating 100 years of Netsuke Soseki this year. NHK, the Japanese public broadcasting company, just finished broadcasting a drama series called ‘Natsume Soseki’s Wife’ (in Japanese), and I have heard that there are various events besides. The theatrical production that will be held in Tokyo in December (in Japanese 1, 2) and in this play also featured an encounter of the two Sosekis (in Japanese). I will be happy if you find the time to visit this interesting play.

Cheers to people of Kumamoto!