Natsume Sōseki (1867–1916), the widely read author of a variety of novels, essays, and haiku and kanshi poetry toward the end of the Meiji period (1868–1912), is the dominant figure in modern Japanese literature. In 1900 he was sent to London by the Japanese Ministry of Education to study English literature for two years, and upon his return was appointed lecturer in English at Tokyo Imperial University. He published his first work of fiction in 1905, the first chapter of what would become the famous satirical novel I Am a Cat. In 1907 he resigned his university teaching post to accept a position with an Asahi newspaper, a decision that shocked his contemporaries, and proceeded to produce novels at the rate of one a year until his death from a stomach ulcer in 1916. Other major works of his that have appeared in English translation include Botchan, Kusamakura, The Miner, and Kokoro.
The Gate is the story of an unhappy man, buffeted by the cares and troubles of everyday life, who at last seeks refuge in a remote Zen mountain monastery. At once melancholy and joyous, profound and simple, The Gate shows the Japanese master Sōseki at the pinnacle of his achievement. This new translation of The Gate is the most graceful and accurate English-language edition to appear to date.