Natsume Soseki (näˈtsōˈmĕ sōˈsĕˈkē) [key], 1867–1916, Japanese writer. Soseki ranks along with Mori Ogai as one of two giants of early modern Japanese letters. Although Soseki began his career as a scholar of English literature, he later resigned from his position at Tokyo Imperial Univ. to devote his time to writing. His first published work, Wagahai wa neko de aru [I am a cat], a satirical portrait of human vanity, was followed by increasingly pessimistic, brooding novels such as Kokoro [heart] and his unfinished masterpiece, Meian [light and darkness]. Soseki's works often dwell upon the alienation of modern humanity, the search for morality, and the difficulty of human communication.