Natsume Soseki's early education included the study of Chinese classics and architecture, but as an English literature major he found his life's work, as well as the friendship of haiku poet Masaoka Shiki, an important personal and literary influence. Soseki's prose, for example, is often interspersed with his own haiku. In 1900 the Japanese government sent Soseki, who was a professor of English literature, to London, but, poorly funded and isolated, he found his years abroad painful and began to exhibit neurotic behavior. On his return, he shocked society by giving up his teaching position at Tokyo University to write fiction for the Asahi newspaper, a profession associated with the world of "entertainers." Despite poor health in the last years of his life, Soseki continued to write an average of one novel a year.