01/06/2012

Yamaguchi Sodo

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- Yamaguchi Sodoo, Sodô 山口素堂 Yamaguchi Sodo -

1642 - 1716.
寛永19年5月5日(1642年6月1日) - 享保元年8月15日(1716年9月30日)
The dates vary according to the lunar calendar.
He was 75 when he died.
His name was Shunshoo 信章 and Shishin 子晋.
He used many haikai names apart from Sodo, 其日庵・来雪・松子.

He was interested in many things and since he liked lotus very much, one of his names was
"the old man from the Lotus Pond" 蓮池翁.


source : itoyo/basho

From Hakushu 白州 in the Koshu province甲州, now Yamanashi prefecture.
His father was Yamaguchi Ichi-emon 山口市右衛門, who had a sake brewing business in the town of Kofu 甲府魚町.

Even now the distillery of Suntory サントリー白州ディストラリー is nearby
source : www.suntory.co.jp

Sodo was not interested in the family business, even as the eldest son, so he left business to his younger brother and went to Edo. He studied Chinese classics (kangaku 漢学) with Hayashi Shunsai 林春斎.
He was about 2 years older than Matsuo Basho, but they soon became very close friends.

They published some haikai collections together:
江戸両吟集 in 1676 and 江戸三吟 in 1678.


His haikai teacher was
. Kitamura Kigin 北村季吟 (1625 - 1705).

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Sodoo Ki 素堂忌  Sodo Memorial Day
kigo for late autumn

. WKD : Memorial Days of Famous People .


素堂忌に深川遠き祭かな
Sodoo ki ni Fukagawa tooki matsuri kana

on Sodo Memorial day
in far-away Fukagawa
there is a festival . . .


Masuda Ryuu-U 増田龍雨 Masuda Ryu-U

. WKD : Fukagawa 深川 and Haiku .


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Between 1692 (Genroku 4) and 1699 (Genroku 7),
Tansetsu Kano drew the pictures, on that the three of Kikaku 其角, Basho 芭蕉 and Yamaguchi Sodo 山口素堂 wrote a caption each other, at the request of Shukuzan Hisamatsu 久松粛山 who belonged to the domain of Matsuyama.

Sodo wrote the hokku about the drum:


青海や太鼓ゆるみて春の声
aoumi ya daiko yurumite haru no koe

I'm seeing the blue sea
The sound of drum has very softened
And Spring is in the air

Tr. from Ehime


. Three Venerable Treasures, sanson 三尊 of the Haiku World .

and Kobayashi Issa wrote about the three treasure-poets

正風の三尊見たり梅の宿
shoofuu no san-zon mitari ume no yado

I view three masters
of the original style ...
plum blossom inn



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目に青葉 山ほととぎす初かつお
me ni aoba yama hototogisu hatsu katsuo

green leaves to look at
hototogisu in the mountains
first Katsuo skipjack


. WKD : First Things, New Things .

from the Arano あら野 collection

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Written in the second lunar month of 1676 延宝4年2月
for the hokku collection 江戸両吟集.

- - - - Matsuo Basho wrote:


この梅に牛も初音と鳴きつべし
kono ume ni ushi mo hatsune to nakitsu beshi

to this plum tree
even the ox might want to shout
his first moo . ..


the first call of an uguisu sounds "hoo hoke kyoo" to the Japanese ear.
Here Basho makes fun with the sound of "moo momo moo " of an oxen.
This was part of the Danrin hokku school of humorous poetry.

. WKD : uguisu no hatsune 鶯の初音 first call of the nightingale .




This hokku was wirtten at the shrine Yushima Tenmangu 湯島天満宮 in memoriam of Sugawara no Michizane.
The statue of an ox is in front of the shrine.


Michizane's funeral procession was a melancholy occasion, attended only by his faithful follower Yasuyuki Umasake and a few neighbors. The coffin was carried on a cow carriage led by Yasuyuki, according to the legend the ox suddenly came to a halt and refused to budge despite threats and entreaties.
The burial therefore took place on the spot, and this became the site of the Tenmangu's main shrine visited today by so many admirers.

. Sugawara Michizane 菅原道真 .


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Written in December of 1691 元禄4年師走.
Basho stayed for a haikai meeting at the home of Yamaguchi Sodo.

- - - - Matsuo Basho wrote:

魚鳥の心は知らず年忘れ 
uo tori no kokoro wa shirazu toshi wasure

how fish and birds
feel at heart, I do not know -
the year-end party

Tr. Ueda

This hokku refers to a poem of the Hoojooki 方丈記 Hojoki from the Kamakura period
by Kamo no Chōmei 鴨長明 Kamo no Chomei, My Account of My Hut.


. WKD : End of the Year .

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Sodo wrote:

年の一夜王子の狐見にゆかん
toshi no hitoya ooji no kitsune mi ni yukan

last night of the year -
let's go to Oji to see
the foxes



. Ooji no kitsunebi 王子の狐火 "fox fire" at Oji Inari Shrine .

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元禄6年10月9日 - 1693, October 9

This is just one month after the famous Chrysanthemum Festival.
Basho and his disciples had a late celebration at the home of Yamaguchi Sodo. They saw the sole of a straw sandal with a broken thong.
They seemed to enjoy the contrast of the elegance of the Chrysanthemum festival with the lost sandal in the garden.

- - - - Matsuo Basho wrote:

菊の香や庭に切れたる履の底
kiku no ka ya niwa ni kiretaru kutsu no soko

chrysanthemum fragrance—
in the garden, the sole
of a worn-out sandal

Tr. Addiss


Basho also wrote

いざよひのいずれか今朝に残る菊
. izayoi no izure ka kesa ni nokoru kiku .

. Chrysanthemum Haiku .


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- - - - - Hokku by Sodo


池に鵞なし假名書習ふ柳陰 (『あら野』)

綿の花たまたま蘭に似たるかな (『あら野』)

名もしらぬ小草花咲野菊哉 (『あら野』)

唐土に富士あらばけふの月もみよ (『あら野』)

麥をわすれ華におぼれぬ鴈ならし (『あら野』)

髭宗祇池に蓮ある心かな (『炭俵』)

三か月の隠にてすヾむ哀かな (『炭俵』)

うるしせぬ琴や作らぬ菊の友 (『續炭俵』)

行ずして見五湖いりがきの音をきく  (『去来抄』)

source : itoyo/basho


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quote
. . . . . an epilogue to a haibun by his (Basho's) friend Yamaguchi Sodô :

EPILOGUE TO “EXPOSITION ON THE BAGWORM”
One day, while dwelling in the desolation of my cottage, I wrote a verse. Touched by the verse, my friend Sodô inscribed a poem and a prose work to it. His lines are beautiful like brocade, and his words are gems. Reading his inscription, I see the artistry of "Encountering Sorrow."
It has the novelty of Su Shi and the ingenuity of Huang Tingjian. He mentions the filial piety of Shun and Zeng Shen at the beginning to let us learn from their virtue. He praises the incapability of the bagworm to remind us of the spirit of the Zhuangzi. He treasures tiny creatures like bagworms to teach us contentment with one’s lot. He also draws upon the old stories of Lü Fang and Ziling to reveal the meaning of reclusion.

At the end, he jokes about the jade worm, exhorting people not to indulge in love. Who else can know the heart of the bagworm so well as this old gentleman Sodô?! What he wrote can be described precisely by
“In quiet contemplation, one finds all things have their own reasons for existence.”

Indeed, in Sodô I see the meaning of this famous poem.
Since ancient times, most people who deal with the writing brush pursue embellishments at the cost of content, or take content seriously but ignore fûryû. When reading Sodô’s prose poem, one is attracted not only by its embellishment but, more significantly, by its essence.

There is a gentleman named Chôko in this area. Upon learning of Sodô’s prose, he made a painting based on it. His painting is truly deep in feeling while light in color. Looking at the painting attentively, I feel as if the bagworm is moving and the yellow leaves are falling. Listening carefully, I feel I have heard the the autumn wind blowing gently and felt its coldness. I am very fortunate to have leisure in this hut of idleness and to have the profound friendship of the two gentlemen, like a bagworm that is bestowed glorifying honor.

source : Basho-and-the-Dao - Peipei-Qiu



蓑虫の音を聞きに来よ草の庵
. minomushi no ne o kiki ni koyo kusa no io .

come to listen
to the sound of the bagworms!
my grass hut

Tr. Gabi Greve


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. Persons introduced by Matsuo Basho .


. Cultural Keywords used by Basho .

. - KIGO used by Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - .


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