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Given Up To Nature And To Books

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Chapter Summary

Miki Kiyoshi was born a commoner. The Miki family belonged on the fringes of a new class of wealthy peasants who by the mid-1880s emerged as a new ideal type of national backbone. Many of these families were engaged in the production and processing of silk and tea, and had begun to experiment with new technologies in the late Tokugawa period. In 1903, at the age of six, Miki entered the local primary school, leaving six years later to attend junior high school in the nearby castle town of Tatsuno from where he graduated in 1914. During these years, he was it seems, in the words of William Wordsworth, "given up to Nature and to books." Miki's books serve as a symbolic chain of reference linking his past, present and future. They reveal less about Miki's childhood and adolescent state of mind than his psychological state during mid-life crisis.

Keywords: Miki family; Miki Kiyoshi; Tatsuno; Tokugawa period; William Wordsworth

10.1163/ej.9789004175822.i-270.9
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