Unknown calligraphy by novelist Soseki revealed at Tokyo college

Exalted novelist Natsume Soseki was also adept at calligraphy, and a previously unknown set of classic Chinese poems he scribed has been acquired by the Tokyo university he attended.

Nishogakusha University snapped up the folding screens of calligraphic work by one of its most prominent alumnus last December from a rare books dealer in Tokyo. The four classic Zen Chinese poems are hand-written on separate sheets of paper, each about 121-centimeters high and 58.5 cm wide, that are mounted on a pair of two-paneled screens.

The public will be able to view the calligraphy at an exhibition scheduled for autumn 2017 to coincide with the 140th anniversary of the foundation of the university.

Soseki (1867-1916), whose picture once adorned the 1,000-yen bank note, is believed to have scribed the four poems within a year or so of his death.

Nishogakusha University, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, was initially founded in 1877 as a private school teaching classic Chinese philosophy and language. Soseki, who was well-versed in classical Chinese poetry, studied there for about a year from 1881.

The calligraphy was once privately owned by Komanosuke Asada, who was the president of the publishing house Chuokoron-sha. It was sold off in the 1990s.

By examining documents and the signs and seals on the screens, it was deduced that the work was written at the request of an editor of Chuokoron-sha, no earlier than 1915. It has never been included in prior publications of Soseki’s calligraphic work, and has remained out of the public eye.

Unknown calligraphy by novelist Soseki revealed at Tokyo college

Source: ajw.asahi.com

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