Natsume Sōseki, one of the premier novelists of modern Japan, was the literary name of Natsume Kinnosuke. Born in Tokyo, he spent his early childhood with two foster families before returning to his own family at the age of nine. As a student he excelled in both Chinese and English, entering the First Upper Middle School in 1888 and then proceeding (as was often the case) to Tokyo University in 1890.
The highly strung Sōseki graduated from Tokyo University, where he majored in English, in 1893, and while studying in the graduate school began teaching part-time at Tokyo Higher Normal School. In 1894 he abruptly accepted a job as an English teacher at Matsuyama (Shikoku) Middle School, moving to the Fifth Higher School in Kumamoto in 1895. He stayed here even after his marriage in 1896 until he was sent to England for two years on a government scholarship in 1900. Life in England for Sōseki was unpleasant, to say the least, and he returned to Tokyo in 1893 resolved never to go… read more