Book Three - Sensei's Testament
... I received several letters from you this past summer. In the second one, if I recall correctly, you sought my assistance in securing a suitable position here in Tōkyō. My thought, when I read that, was that I ought to help. Or I felt, at least, that I should write you a proper response. However, to be perfectly honest, I made no endeavor with respect to your request. As you know, my circle of acquaintances is quite small. It might better be said, even, that I'm fully alone in this world. As such, my latitude for effectual intercession is nil. That wasn't the real problem, though. The real problem was my own struggle with the question of my existence. Whether to continue on as I am, like a mummified figure forgotten amongst the living, or whether to ... In those days, I shuddered at the implication of the words "or whether to." Like a man who runs for a cliff edge then suddenly glimpses the bottomless depths below, I was a coward, and I agonized as all cowards do. Regrettably, I might even say that in those days I reserved no room for you in my thoughts. To state this bluntly, your lot in life and how you earned your living were of no import whatsoever. They didn't concern me in the least. I couldn't suffer such agitation. I stuck your letter in the holder, folded my arms before me, and resumed my brooding. Why should a man from a family of means, just out of school, fret about his livelihood so and kick up a fuss? I viewed you thus, from a distance, with an air of mild contempt. I divulge this by way of explanation, as I still owe you a response, and not to offend through impudence. As you read further, I believe you'll see what's truly in my heart. At any rate, I didn't write when I should have. This was wrong of me, and I wish to apologize for my negligence.