|A statue of the mature poet, Matsuo Basho. But he wasn't always so venerable!|
Basho the novice poet
haru ya koshi / toshi ya yukiken / kotsugomori(#1 JR)
How can spring have come?
This year's not even over -
Background to Haiku
Waka Tradition and Schools
Basho the Teimon Apprentice
"During the old year / spring has come. / The remaining days: / should we call them / last year / or this year?" (see here)
"Did you come / or did I go? / I can't remember / was it dream or reality? was I asleep or awake?
Basho and haikai no rendo
“Many of my followers can write hokku as well as I can. Where I show who I really am is in linking haikai verses."
Basho the Danrin Apprentice
Basho - Master of Shofu
|A contemporary sketch of Basho's house in Fukugawa|
|This woodblock print by Hiroshige, included in his 100 Famous Views of Edo series, is of Basho's hut. It is already famous and a site for pilgrimages at the time of Hiroshige, almost 200 years after Basho's death.|
Another disciple gave him a gift of a Basho - a banana tree. This was a very uncommon plant in Japan, and although the climate prevented it from ever bearing fruit, the large leaves provided umbrella like protection from the sun and then the rain. It so delighted Basho that he took his enduring pen-name precisely from the name of this plant.
Basho the Zen Apprentice
Basho the Traveller
Following the example of the ancient priest who is said to have travelled thousands of miles caring naught for his provisions and attaining the state of sheer ecstasy under the pure beams of the moon, I left my broken house on the River Sumida in the August of the first year of Jyoko among the wails of the autumn wind.Determined to fallA weather-exposed skeletonI cannot help the sore windBlowing through my heart(Translation Yuasa)
Basho the Universal Poet
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