Kokoro Imagery

The Narrator and Sensei Swimming in the Ocean

Before exchanging a word with Sensei, the narrator follows him out into the deep part of the ocean, where the two of them are separated from the crowds of the beach. That each of them would prefer such an environment to the bustle of what represents daily life demonstrates their solitary and perhaps misanthropic natures. Indeed, many of the places where they will later talk are quiet corners secluded from the rest of the world.

The Narrator's Crumpled Diploma

After his graduation, the narrator at first curls his diploma up and looks out his window through it, seemingly showing that his education had given him a new way of looking at the world. However, he soon stops and absentmindedly throws it into his trunk, which irreparably crumples it. When his father tries to display the diploma in their home, it refuses to straighten out, showing either that the education is useless in the context of traditional country life or that it is nearly worthless in general, reduced to nothing more than a crumpled piece of paper.

Sensei Stepping off the Path into the Mud

After unexpectedly coming across K and Ojosan together while walking on a narrow causeway above the ground, which has been made muddy by the day's rains, Sensei is shocked by how close they seem to have become. Nevertheless, not only does he feel no vengeful impulse towards Ojosan, but he even steps off the path into the mud so that Ojosan can pass by without dirtying herself. Here is shown his unwavering love for her and willingness to sacrifice himself.

The Spurt of K's Blood on the Wall

One of the most powerful images in the book, in fact one about which Sensei himself notes his sense of wonder, the splash of blood on the wall from K's cutting his cardioid artery displays the intense passion and vitality of K's personality which, repressed by K's personal philosophy in life, exploded out in the moment of death almost as a testament to the man himself.