Xiaohu Zhang is a Ph.D. candidate in East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research interests ecnompass classical Chinese poetry and poetics (with a focus on Yuan dynasty sanqu poetry and literati culture), late Imperial Chinese, fiction, and Sinitic poetry and prose in East Asia.
Although Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) enjoys worldwide fame as a novelist, his work as a first-class kanshi (classicla Chinese poetry) poet remains largely unknown to Western audiences. This talk focuses on Soseki's kanshi of 1916 and his pursuit of the Dao toward the end of his life. Contextualized in both the turbulence of Meiji Japan (1868-1912) and the Chinese poetic and philosophical traditions, this piece offers a comprehensive overiew of the thematic and formal features of Soseki's 1916 kanshi.