Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) was a Japanese novelist. Born in Babashita, a town in the Edo region of Ushigome, Soseki was the youngest of six children. Due to financial hardship, he was adopted by a childless couple who raised him from 1868 until their divorce eight years later, at which point Soseki returned to his biological family. Educated in Tokyo, he took an interest in literature and went on to study English and Chinese Classics while at the Tokyo Imperial University. He started his career as a poet, publishing haiku with the help of his friend and fellow-writer Masaoka Shiki. In 1895, he found work as a teacher at a middle school in Shikoku, which would serve as inspiration for his popular novel Botchan (1906). In 1900, Soseki was sent by the Japanese government to study at University College London. Later described as "the most unpleasant years in [his] life," Soseki's time in London introduced him to British culture and earned him a position as a professor of English literature back in Tokyo. Recognized for such novels as Sanshiro (1908) and Kokoro (1914), Soseki was a visionary artist whose deep commitment to the life of humanity has earned him praise from such figures as Haruki Murakami, who named Soseki as his favorite writer.