Showing posts with label Z - - Reference - LINKS -. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Z - - Reference - LINKS -. Show all posts

01/11/2014

External LINKS - English

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- EXTERNAL LINKS -   ENGLISH

DEUTSCH - see below
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. Wikipedia - Matsuo Basho .
with further links to books etc.


Complete Basho Haiku in Japanese with romaji
. Wikisource .

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Matsuo Basho ... Matsuo Basho (2) ... Matsuo Basho (3)
About the Poet. (from the WKD)


BASHO : Complete Biography in English
Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale Research, 1998.



A long DOC containing many articles and parts of books about Basho
from Blyth to Yuasa to Ueda
compiled by
. source - terebess.hu/english .



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Aitken, Robert Aitken
Zen Wave: Basho's Haiku and Zen
source : books.google.co.jp


Andre, Elaine Andre
BASHO - in Sumi, Wood & Bronze
source : basho-imagery.blogspot.jp


Ariadne
Haiku, haibun, and renga of Matsuo Bashō
literature links and some explanations of translations
source : www.baymoon.com/~ariadne


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Barnhill, David Landis Barnhill

Bashō's Journey: The Literary Prose of Matsuo Bashō
source : books.google.co.jp

Basho's Haiku - Selected Poems of Matsuo Basho
source : ptchanculto.binhoster.com - FULL TEXT -
source : haikupedia.ru - FULL TEXT -

THE POETICS OF THE BASHŌ SCHOOL
source : www.uwosh.edu/facstaff


Interview David Landis Barnhill
source : simplyhaiku 2011

THE JOURNALS OF MATSUO BASHŌ
A Hermeneutical Approach to the Journals of a Wayfaring Poet
source : www.uwosh.edu/facstaff (pdf file)
My Backup

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Blankestijn, Ad Blankestijn
Memorial Stones about Matsuo Basho
source : www.japannavigator.com

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Blyth - R. H. Blyth
“Bashō” - From the Beginnings up to Issa,
source : terebess.hu
(A long DOC covering many articles.)


Мацуо Басё / Matsuo Basho
a long PDF file
source : www.poezia.ru/article.php

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Carley, John Carley
Basho and His Translators
source : www.poetrysociety.org.nz


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Carter, Steven D. Carter
Traditional Japanese Poetry: An Anthology
source : books.google.co.jp


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Chilcott Literary Translations, Dr. Tim Chilcott
-- Bashō Two Hundred Selected Haiku, 2008
http://www.tclt.org.uk/basho/Selected_Haiku_2011.pdf
-- Bashō The Narrow Road to the Deep North, 2004


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Edgecombe, Jamie Edgecombe
BASHO’S JOURNEY
source : worldhaikureview


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Hansha Teki
. Interpreting Basho .



Hiraga, Masako and Ross, Haj
The Bashō Code:
Metaphor and Diagram in Two Haiku about Silence
source : www.rikkyo.ne.jp - 16 pages PDF



Hirschfeld, Jane Hirschfeld
The Heart of Haiku
- Reference -



Kirkham, Eleanor Kirkham
Matsuo Basho's Poetic Spaces: Exploring Haikai Intersections
source : simplyhaiku.com 2007


Kasulis, Thomas P. Kasulis
Self As Image in Asian Theory and Practice
Oi no Kobumi
source : books.google.co.jp



Miyamori, Asataro Miyamori
source : books.google.co.jp


Moriguchi, Yasuhiko Moriguchi and David Jenkins
Narrow Road to the Interior, Hōjōki (Hoojooki, Hojoki)
source : www.naxos.com/mainsite


Panneman, Kristjaan Panneman - Chevrefeuille
Basho Revisited - BLOG
bashorevisited.blogspot.jp



Peipei Qiu - 丘 培培(QIU Peipei)
Bashō and the Dao: The Zhuangzi and the Transformation of Haikai
- Full Text -
なぜ荘子の胡蝶は俳諧の世界に飛ぶのか - Zhuangzi's Butterfly in the World of Haikai
source : www.nichibun.ac.jp/graphicversion


Reichhold, Jane (Author, Translator)
Basho: The Complete Haiku
with Original sumi-e ink drawings by artist Shiro Tsujimura



Shirane, Haruo Shirane
Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Bashō
source : books.google.co.jp



Smirnow, Dmitri Smirnov
BASHO in Russian, English and Japanese
Various translations offered for each haiku.


Strider, haiku apprentice
Leaving the Basho Hut
source : www.haikuapprentice.com



Stryk, Lucien Stryk
On Love and Barley: Haiku of Bashō
source : books.google.co.jp



Takarai Kikaku - An Account of Our Master Basho's Last Days
Translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa
source : simplyhaiku 2006


Takase, Eri Takase Calligraphy
"It is said of the three most famous Haiku poets that Basho is the poet, Issa the conscience, and Buson the artist. I find myself going to Basho to look for the poetic moment, to Issa to comment on what is important and for perspective, and it is to Buson I go to for the art that is always before us in everyday life."
source : www.takase.com/



Takiguchi, Susumu Takiguchi
. Karumi
Matsuo Basho's Ultimate Poetical Value, Or was it? .


MORE articles by Takiguchi Susumu:
source : "Susumu Takiguchi"


Terebess, Gabor Terebess
. Translations into Hungarian .

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Ueda Makoto Ueda
Matsuo Bashō
source : books.google.co.jp

. - The master haiku Poet Matsuo Basho - .
Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1970.

Bashō and his interpreters
source : books.google.co.jp

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Watson, Scott Watson
Bashō Matsuo's Road's Edge
source : books.google.co.jp

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Wyatt, Bill Wyatt
The Influence of Chinese Literature on Basho.
source : www.poetrymagazines.org.uk

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Yuasa Nobuyuki 湯浅信之
Yuasa translates using four lines, for three reasons:
"The language of haiku is based on colloquialism, and in my opinion, the closest approximation of natural conversational rhythm can be achieved in English by a four-line stanza.
In my opinion a three-line stanza does not carry adequate dignity and weight to compare with hokku.
I had before me the task of translating a great number of poems and I found it impossible to use three-line form consistently."
source : haiku.insouthsea.co.uk
Later Yuasa changed his mind and used three lines for translations.


English Translation of Oku no Hosomichi. With nice pictures.
BASHO: Basho's World <> Yuasa, Nobuyuki Translation



Oku no Hosomichi - Wiki Travel
Narrow Road to the Deep North
source : http://wikitravel.org/en/Narrow_Road


The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches
source : www.goodreads.com


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Oi no kobumi - iza yukami discussion
source : www.ku-ma.or.jp/tpsj

Oku no hosomichi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oku_no_Hosomichi

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Essays

Yamato Kotoba: The Japanese Language of the Flesh
Yukari Kunisue and Judy Schavrien
and Kotodama 言霊 koto dama - the spiritual power that resides in words
analysis of a haiku in which Basho uses Yamato Kotoba . . .
source : www.sofia.edu/academics/

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MORE on google books online

source : www.google.co.jp

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Aitken, Will Aitken
Following Basho's footsteps
source : www.ilovejapan.ca

Aoyagi - Calligraphy by Japanese Calligrapher Soseki Aoyagi
source : Soseki Aoyagi
with translations by Barnhill


. BASHO REVISITED .
Chèvrefeuille, a haiku poet


Bird Haiku by Basho
. aviary/haiku.html .


Irwin, Riley B. Irwin - Sabi, Nature, and the Relationship
source : simplyhaiku.com 2007


sharon hahn darlin - Language Gallery Haiku
. languagegallery.blogspot.jp .


Kuniharu Shimizu - Haiga with Basho Haiku
. seehaikuhere.blogspot.jp .  

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- - - - - DEUTSCH - - - - -

Wenzel, Udo Wenzel
Der Wurm in der Kastanie - Sieben Haikai von Bashô
source : www.haiku-heute.de

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- quote -
Art, haiku by Edo period poet Basho newly discovered
ITAMI, Hyogo -- Haiku poems, correspondence and artwork by Edo period poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) have been newly discovered in several areas across Japan, a museum and library facility specializing in haiku here has announced.

A total of 16 pieces by Basho were found in private homes in Kyoto and Aichi prefectures and other places. His letters reveal strong connections with his pupils through The Zhuangzi (a Chinese text attributed to Zhuang Zhou), which is believed to have influenced the renowned Japanese poet.



One letter was written two years before Basho's death in 1692. Addressed to his pupil Dosui, a feudal samurai in an area that is now Shiga Prefecture, the letter expressed disappointment that while there were people in Edo who can teach from "The Zhuangzi," potential students were disappearing.

There was also a haiku piece which had been jointly composed with two other poets. It is believed to be the one Basho worked on when he visited what is now the city of Koka, Shiga Prefecture, in March 1685. He wrote the last part of the poem, which reads, "People climb the cherry tree at a three-pronged spot." The "three-pronged spot" is believed to refer to a river confluence. Basho was apparently enjoying sharing a moment with those who were viewing cherry blossoms from a boat nearby.

In addition, a haiku poem by Basho accompanied by a drawing was also found. It depicts a morning glory and the moon with a poem composed in 1682 titled "On a morning glory."

- - - - - MORE
- source : mainichi.jp/english/articles 2016 -


- source : asahi.com/ajw/articles 2016 -
Haikuist Basho enjoyed fun poetic parties, and a good moan
The new finding of 16 articles was announced June 2 by Kakimori Bunko, a private museum and library known for a large haiku-related collection that is situated in Itami near Osaka.


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External LINKS - Japanese

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- EXTERNAL LINKS -

JAPANESE


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芭蕉庵 Basho-an Dot Com
Exhaustive Database about Basho and his work.


Basho Database by Ito Yo 伊藤洋
. www2.yamanashi-ken.ac.jp/~itoyo/basho .
- and
芭蕉総合年表 - Timeline of Basho
source : itoyo/basho/index


Basho Kinenkan 芭蕉記念館 - Basho Museum - Tokyo 東京都江東区常盤1
source : www.kcf.or.jp/basyo
Japanese and English

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芭蕉さんが三重で詠んだ句
公益財団法人 芭蕉翁顕彰会 / 重県伊賀市上野丸之内117-13
Basho Memorial Museum - Iga Ueno
source : www.basho-bp.jp/

Basho Memorial Museum - Haiku Master Matsuo Basho - English
- source : www.basho-bp.jp/en/ -

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Basho Ogina Ekotoba Den 芭蕉翁絵詞伝
at temple Gichu-Ji in Otsu 滋賀県大津市・義仲寺所蔵
.www.bashouan.com .


Calligraphy - 第十四室・俳人歌人真筆碑拓本
source : www1.odn.ne.jp/j-kingdom

Complete Basho Haiku in Japanese with romaji
. Wikisource .


Basho Kaigi Meeting Group 芭蕉会議
source : www.basho.jp/notice.html


Basho Jiten - Nakamura Shunjo 芭蕉事典 中村俊定
source : books.google.co.jp



179 Books about Basho ! "松尾芭蕉" で179件ヒット
source : www.yodobashi.com


Haiku Saijiki Basho 俳句、歳時記。
With a lot of videos about books on Basho.
source : hideokusakaxx-haikusaijiki

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Oku no Hosomichi - Haiku - Senryu
おくのほそ道・俳句・川柳

松尾芭蕉の紀行文『奥の細道』の俳句と、川柳について、はじめて古典に接する読者にもわかりやすく解説。写真やイラスト、地図などのビジュアル資料も多数収録しており、「読み」「聞き」「感じ」ながら作品を楽しめる。
田中貴子


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Basho Michi 芭蕉道 - the best 100 places 名蕉地100選 - with Morimura Sei'Ichi sensei 森村 誠一
source : bashomichi.com/meisyouchi


芭蕉俳菓 Basho Sweets - Haika
Translations by Toshiharu Oseko are included.
. WKD : kikyou0123 .


芭蕉全句鑑賞 - ー田中空音ー with explanations
source : Hollywood-Studio

芭蕉語録 the words of Basho himself
quoting Basho
source : denshou.web.fc2.com



Calligraphy by Japanese Calligrapher Soseki Aoyagi
source : Soseki Aoyagi


fusimin - detailed explanations. details about the 門人
source : book.geocities.jp/fusimiin/basyo



Haiku Annai 俳句案内 with Basho Haiku
presented in the four seasons
. www5c.biglobe.ne.jp/ .



Iga - 松尾芭蕉のふるさと
. www.city.iga.lg.jp .
- - - Basho to Iga 芭蕉と伊賀
. www.ict.ne.jp/~basho


Illustrations - 87首 modern, for many hokku
source : www3.ocn.ne.jp/~chiyopro/okuno-in



Kanazawa 松尾芭蕉と金沢
source : daiman/data


Kigosai - Kigo Saijiki - 1031 hokku by Basho, listed according to Kigo - 季語別「芭蕉全句集」(1031句)
source : kigosai.sub.jp

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Memorial Stones from all regions
source : www.geocities.jp/fukadasoft/rivers/basyou


Memorial Stones along the Nakasendo road
. kaidou/nakasendo .

Memorial Stones of Oku no Hosomichi
source : hirotabi.web.


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Nozarashi Kiko with photos
野ざらし紀行
source : intweb - basyou_nozarasi


Portraits of Edo Haikai Poets 俳諧の人々
source : hakusyunetto


鮒くん: Basho haiku with short explanations
source : iinaa.net/basyo


roodoku 朗読 reading "Oku no Hosomichi" 「おくのほそ道」の朗読
source : hosomichi.roudokus.com/


. Wikipedia - 松尾 芭蕉 .


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17/06/2012

Hansha Teki

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- Hansha Teki -

Hansha, a haiku poet from New Zealand



I have chosen four of Basho's hokku to speak about briefly in the spirit of "Basho and his Interpreters" by Makoto Ueda
and for that reason I will display Ueda's translations.

The first two I shall group together as, not only do they appear to have been written within a short time of each other, but they also seem to me to be tightly linked in spirit.

the rough sea —
flowing toward Sado Isle
the River of Heaven

araumi | ya | Sado | ni | yokatau | amanogawa
rough-sea : Sado on lie Heaven's-River


under the same roof
courtesans, too, are asleep —
bush clover and the moon

hitotsuya | ni | yujo | mo | netari | hagi | to | tsuki
one-house in courtesan also is-asleep bush-clover and moon

In both poems there is a flow of thought from the particular observed in the first or the accidental conjunction in the second to the awareness of transcendence. Many have commented on the first hokku and there is little that I can add but, for me, the second hokku borders on the sublime.

The story of the poet's chance meeting with the travelling prostitutes is well-known as are the interpretations of the poem but here there is far more than simple contrast. The transcendent sense of unity of all things that the poet has evoked here is way beyond the words used - it is in the flow of his spirit as he allows us also to experience that movement. What Basho has achieved in this poem is most clearly equalled in James Joyce's equally wonderful short story, "The Dead".



I shall also group together the remaining two hokku that I have chosen, written as they were in an autumn three years after the previous two hokku referred to.

on this road
where nobody else travels
autumn nightfall

kono | michi | ya | yuku | hito | nashi | ni | aki | no | kure
this road : go person nonexistent with autumn's evening


this autumn
why am I aging so?
to the clouds, a bird

kono | aki | wa | nande | toshiyoru | kumo | ni | tori
this autumn as-for why grow-old cloud to bird

The feeling of transcendence has grown so much more intense as has the existential loneliness. The poet feels keenly his mortality and the end of his identity within created things. Again the second hokku becomes sublime where such simple words and the sigh that rises from his solar plexus gives voice to a profound awareness of the nature of one's mortality. Both hokku that I have chosen to call 'sublime' approximate as much as any poem can the state of the wordless poem.

The limits of translating hokku become blindingly clear to me - to understand these poems in their full glory we must become one with the poet as we do the pine or the bamboo.


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. Cultural Keywords used by Basho .


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04/06/2012

Makoto Ueda

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- The master haiku Poet Matsuo Basho -

by Makoto Ueda, Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1970.
source : terebess.hu/english


Basho's Life
One day in the spring of 1681 a banana tree was being planted alongside a modest hut in a rustic area of Edo, a city now known as Tokyo. It was a gift from a local resident to his teacher of poetry, who had moved into the hut several months earlier. The teacher, a man of thirty-six years of age, was delighted with the gift. He loved the banana plant because it was somewhat like him in the way it stood there. Its large leaves were soft and sensitive and were easily torn when gusty winds blew from the sea. Its flowers were small and unobtrusive; they looked lonesome, as if they knew they could bear no fruit in the cool climate of Japan. Its stalks were long and fresh- looking, yet they were of no practical use.

The teacher lived all alone in the hut. On nights when he had no visitor, he would sit quietly and listen to the wind blowing through the banana leaves. The lonely atmosphere would deepen on rainy nights. Rainwater leaking through the roof dripped intermittently into a basin. To the ears of the poet sitting in the dimly lighted room, the sound made a strange harmony with the rustling of the banana leaves outside.

A banana plant in the autumn gale -
I listen to the dripping of rain
Into a basin at night.

The haiku seems to suggest the poet's awareness of his spiritual affinity with the banana plant.

Some people who visited this teacher of poetry may have noticed the affinity. Others may have seen the banana plant as nothing more than a convenient landmark. At any rate, they came to call the residence the Basho ("banana plant) Hut, and the name was soon applied to its resident, too: the teacher came to be known as the Master of the Basho Hut, or Master Basho. It goes without saying that he was happy to accept the nickname. He used it for the rest of his life.


I. First Metamorphosis: From Wanderer to Poet

Little material is available to recreate Basho's life prior to his settlement in the Basho Hut. It is believed that he was born in 1644 at or near Ueno in Iga Province, about thirty miles southeast of Kyoto and two hundred miles west of Edo. He was called Kinsaku and several other names as a child; he had an elder brother and four sisters. His father, Matsuo Yozaemon, was probably a low-ranking samurai who farmed in peacetime. Little is known about his mother except that her parents were not natives of Ueno. The social status of the family, while respectable, was not of the kind that promised a bright future for young Basho if he were to follow an ordinary course of life.

Yet Basho's career began in an ordinary enough way. It is presumed that as a youngster he entered the service of a youthful master, Todo Yoshitada, a relative of the feudal lord ruling the province. Young Basho first served as a page or in some such capacity.1 His master, two years his senior, was apparently fond of Basho, and the two seem to have become fairly good companions as they grew older. Their strongest bond was the haikai, one of the favorite pastimes of sophisticated men of the day. Apparently Yoshitada had a liking for verse writing and even acquired a haikai name, Sengin. Whether or not the initial stimulation came from his master, Basho also developed a taste for writing haikai, using the pseudonym Sobo. The earliest poem by Basho preserved today was written in 1662. In 1664, two haiku by Basho and one by Yoshitada appeared in a verse anthology published in Kyoto. The following year Basho, Yoshitada, and three others joined together and composed a renku of one hundred verses. Basho contributed eighteen verses, his first remaining verses of this type.

Basho's life seems to have been peaceful so far, and he might for the rest of his life have been a satisfied, low-ranking samurai who spent his spare time verse writing. He had already come of age and had assumed a samurai's name, Matsuo Munefusa. But in the summer of 1666 a series of incidents completely changed the course of his life. Yoshitada suddenly died a premature death. His younger brother succeeded him as the head of the clan and also as the husband of his widow. It is believed that Basho left his native home and embarked on a wandering life shortly afterward.

Various surmises have been made as to the reasons for Basho's decision to leave home, a decision that meant forsaking his samurai status. One reason which can be easily imagined is Basho's deep grief at the death of his master, to whom he had been especially close. One early biography even has it that he thought of killing himself to accompany his master in the world beyond, but this was forbidden by the current law against self- immolation. Another and more convincing reason is that Basho became extremely pessimistic about his future under the new master, whom he had never served before. As Yoshitada had Basho, the new master must have had around him favored companions with whom he had been brought up. They may have tried to prevent Basho from joining their circle, or even if they did not, Basho could have sensed some vague animosity in their attitudes toward him. Whatever the truth may have been, there seems to be no doubt that Basho's future as a samurai became exceedingly clouded upon the sudden death of his master.

Other surmises about Basho's decision to leave home have to do with his love affairs. Several early biographies claim that he had an affair with his elder brother's wife, with one of Yoshitada's waiting ladies, or with Yoshitada's wife herself. These are most likely the fabrications of biographers who felt the need for some sensational incident in the famous poet's youth. But there is one theory that may contain some truth. It maintains that Basho had a secret mistress, who later became a nun called Jutei. She may even have had a child, or several children, by Basho. At any rate, these accounts seem to point toward one fact: Basho still in his early twenties, experienced his share of the joys and griefs that most young men go through at one time or another.

Basho's life for the next few years is very obscure. It has traditionally been held that he went to Kyoto, then the capital of Japan, where he studied philosophy, poetry and calligraphy under well-known experts. It is not likely, however, that he was in Kyoto all during this time; he must often have returned to his hometown for lengthy visits. It might even be that he still lived in Ueno or in that vicinity and made occasional trips to Kyoto. In all likelihood he was not yet determined to become a poet at this time. Later in his own writing he was to recall "At one time I coveted an official post with a tenure of land." He was still young and ambitious, confident of his potential. He must have wished, above all, to get a good education that would secure him some kind of respectable position later on. Perhaps he wanted to see the wide world outside his native town and to mix with a wide variety of people. With the curiosity of youth he may have tried to do all sorts of things fashionable among the young libertines of the day. Afterward, he even wrote, "There was a time when I was fascinated with the ways of homosexual love."

One indisputable fact is that Basho had not lost his interest in verse writing. A haikai anthology published in 1667 contained as many as thirty- one of his verses, and his work was included in three other anthologies compiled between 1669 and 1671. His name was gradually becoming known to a limited number of poets in the capital. That must have earned him considerable respect from the poets in his hometown too. Thus when Basho made his first attempt to compile a book of haikai, about thirty poets were willing to contribute verses to it. The book, called The Seashell Game (Kai Oi), was dedicated to a shrine in Ueno early in 1672.

The Seashell Game represents a haiku contest in thirty rounds. Pairs of haiku, each one composed by a different poet, are matched and judged by Basho. Although he himself contributed two haiku to the contest, the main value of the book lies in his critical comments and the way he refereed the matches. On the whole, the book reveals hi to be a man of brilliant wit and colorful imagination, who had a good knowledge of popular songs, fashionable expressions, and the new ways of the world in general. It appears he compiled the book in a lighthearted mood, but his poetic talent was evident.

Then, probably in the spring of 1672, Basho set out on a journey to Edo, apparently with no intention of returning in the immediate future. On parting he sent a haiku to one of his friends in Ueno:

Clouds will separate
The two friends, after migrating
Wild goose's departure.

His motive for going to Edo cannot be ascertained. Now that he had some education, he perhaps wanted to find a promising post in Edo, then a fast- expanding city which offered a number of career opportunities. Or perhaps, encouraged by the good reception that The Seashell Game enjoyed locally, he had already made up his mind to become a professional poet and wanted his name known in Edo, too. Most likely Basho had multiple motives, being yet a young man with plenty of ambition. Whether he wanted to be a government official or a haikai master, Edo seemed to be an easier place than Kyoto to realize his dreams. He was anxious to try out his potential in a different, freer environment.

Basho's life for the next eight years is somewhat obscure again. It is said that in his early days in Edo he stayed at the home of one or another of his patrons. That is perhaps true, but it is doubtful that he could remain a dependent for long. Various theories, none of them with convincing evidence, argue that he became a physician's assistant, a town clerk, or a poet's scribe. The theory generally considered to be the closest to the truth is that for some time he was employed by the local waterworks department. Whatever the truth, his early years in Edo were not easy. He was probably recalling those days when he later wrote: "At one time I was weary of verse writing and wanted to give it up, and at another time I was determined to be a poet until I could establish a proud name over others. the alternatives battled in my mind and made my life restless."

Though he may have been in a dilemma Basho continued to write verses in the new city. In the summer of 1675 he was one of several writers who joined a distinguished poet of the time in composing a renku of one hundred verses; Basho, now using the pseudonym Tosei, contributed eight. The following spring he and another poet wrote two renku, each consisting of one hundred verses.. After a brief visit to his native town later in the year, he began devoting more and more time to verse writing. He must have made up his mind to become a professional poet around this time, if he had not done so earlier. His work began appearing in various anthologies more and more frequently, indicating his increasing renown. When the New Year came he apparently distributed a small book of verses among his acquaintances, a practice permitted only to a recognized haikai master. In the winter of that year he judged two haiku contests, and when they were published as Haiku Contests in Eighteen Rounds (Juhachiban Hokku Awase), he wrote a commentary on each match. In the summer of 1680 The Best Poems of Tosei's Twenty Disciples (Tosei Montei Dokugin Nijikkasen) appeared, which suggests that Basho already had a sizeable group of talented students. Later in the same year two of his leading disciples matched their own verses in two contests, "The rustic haiku Contest" ("Inaka no Kuawase") and "The Evergreen haiku Contest" ("Tokiwaya no Kuawase"), and Basho served as the judge. that winter his students built a small house in a quiet, rustic part of Edo and presented it to their teacher. Several months later a banana tree was planted in the yard, giving the hut its famous name. Basho, firmly established as a poet, now had his own home for the first time in his life.


II. Second Metamorphosis: From Poet to Wanderer

Basho was thankful to have a permanent home, but he was not to be cozily settled there. With all his increasing poetic fame and material comfort, he seemed to become more dissatisfied with himself. In his early days of struggle he had had a concrete aim in life, a purpose to strive for. That aim, now virtually attained, did not seem to be worthy of all his effort. He had many friends, disciples, and patrons, and yet he was lonelier than ever. One of the first verses he wrote after moving into the Basho Hut was:

Against the brushwood gate
Dead tea leaves swirl
In the stormy wind.

Many other poems written at this time, including the haiku about the banana tree, also have pensive overtones. In a headnote to one of them he even wrote: "I feel lonely as I gaze at the moon, I feel lonely as I think about myself, and I feel lonely as I ponder upon this wretched life of mine. I want to cry out that I am lonely, but no one asks me how I feel."

It was probably out of such spiritual ambivalence that Basho began practicing Zen meditation under Priest Butcho (1642-1715), who happened to be staying near his home. He must have been zealous and resolute in this attempt, for he was later to recall: "...and yet at another time I was anxious to confine myself within the walls of a monastery." Loneliness, melancholy, disillusion, ennui - whatever his problem may have been, his suffering was real.

A couple of events that occurred in the following two years further increased his suffering. In the winter of 1682 the Basho Hut was destroyed in a fire that swept through the whole neighborhood. He was homeless again, and probably the idea that man is eternally homeless began haunting his mind more and more frequently. A few months later he received news from his family home that his mother had died. Since his father had died already in 1656, he was now not only without a home but without a parent to return to.

As far as poetic fame was concerned, Basho and his disciples were thriving. In the summer of 1683 they published Shriveled Chestnuts (Minashiguri), an anthology of haikai verses which in its stern rejection of crudity and vulgarity in theme and in its highly articulate, Chinese-flavored diction, set them distinctly apart from other poets. In that winter, when the homeless Basho returned from a stay in Kai Province, his friends and disciples again gathered together and presented him with a new Basho Hut. He was pleased, but it was not enough to do away with his melancholy. His poem on entering the new hut was:

The sound of hail -
I am the same as before
Like that aging oak.

Neither poetic success nor the security of a home seemed to offer him much consolation. He was already a wanderer in spirit, and he had to follow that impulse in actual life.

Thus in the fall of 1684 Basho set out on his first significant journey. He had made journeys before, but not for the sake of spiritual and poetic discipline. Through the journey he wanted, among other things, to face death and thereby to help temper his mind and his poetry. He called it "the journey of a weather-beaten skeleton," meaning that he was prepared to perish alone and leave his corpse to the mercies of the wilderness if that was his destiny. If this seems to us a bit extreme, we should remember that Basho was of a delicate constitution and suffered from several chronic diseases, and that his travel in seventeenth-century Japan was immensely more hazardous than it is today.

It was a long journey, taking him to a dozen provinces that lay between Edo and Kyoto. From Edo he went westward along a main road that more or less followed the Pacific coastline. He passed by the foot of Mount Fuji, crossed several large rivers and visited the Grand Shinto Shrines in Ise. He then arrived at his native town, Ueno, and was reunited with his relatives and friends. His elder brother opened a memento bag and showed him a small tuft of gray hair from the head of his late mother.

Should I hold it in my hand
It would melt in my burning tears -
Autumnal frost.

This is one of the rare cases in which a poem bares his emotion, no doubt because the grief he felt was uncontrollably intense.

After only a few days' sojourn in Ueno, Basho traveled farther on, now visiting a temple among the mountains, now composing verses with local poets. It was at this time that The Winter Sun (Fuyu no Hi), a collection of five renku which with their less pedantic vocabulary and more lyrical tone marked the beginning of Basho's mature poetic style, was produced. He then celebrated the New Year at his native town for the first time in years. He spent some more time visiting Nara and Kyoto, and when he finally returned to Edo it was already the summer of 1685.

The journey was a rewarding one. Basho met numerous friends, old and new, on the way. He produced a number of haiku and renku on his experiences during the journey, including those collected in The Winter Sun. He wrote his first travel journal, The Records of a Weather-Exposed Skeleton (Nozarashi Kiko), too. Through all these experiences, Basho was gradually changing. In the latter part of the journal there appears, for instance, the following haiku which he wrote at the year's end:

Another year is gone -
A travel hat on my head,
Straw sandals on my feet.

The poem seems to show Basho at ease in travel. The uneasiness that made him assume a strained attitude toward the journey disappeared as his trip progressed. He could not look at his wandering self more objectively, without heroism or sentimentalism.

He spent the next two years enjoying a quiet life at the Basho Hut. It was a modest but leisurely existence, and he could afford to call himself "an idle old man." He contemplated the beauty of nature as it changed with the seasons and wrote verses whenever he was inspired to do so. Friends and disciples who visited him shared his taste, and they often gathered to enjoy the beauty of the moon, the snow, or the blossoms. The following composition, a short prose piece written in the winter of 1686, seems typical of his life at this time:

A man named Sora has his temporary residence near my hut, so I often drop in at his place, and he at mine. When I cook something to eat, he helps to feed the fire, and when I make tea at night, he comes over for company. A quiet, leisurely person, he has become a most congenial friend of mine. One evening after a snowfall, he dropped in for a visit, whereupon I composed a haiku:

Will you start a fire?
I'll show you something nice -
A huge snowball.

The fire in the poem is to boil water for tea. Sora would prepare tea in the kitchen, while Basho, returning to the pleasures of a little boy, would make a big snowball in the yard. When the tea was ready, they would sit down and sip it together, humorously enjoying the view of the snowball outside. The poem, an unusually cheerful one for Basho, seems to suggest his relaxed, carefree frame of mind of those years.

The same sort of casual poetic mood led Basho to undertake a short trip to Kashima, a town about fifty miles east of Edo and well known for its Shinto shrine, to see the harvest moon. Sora and a certain Zen monk accompanied him in the trip in the autumn of 1687. Unfortunately it rained on the night of the full moon, and they only had a few glimpses of the moon toward dawn. Basho, however, took advantage of the chance to visit his former Zen master, Priest Butcho, who had retired to Kashima. The trip resulted in another of Basho's travel journals, A Visit to the Kashima Shrine (Kashima Kiko).

Then, just two months later, Basho set out on another long westward journey. He was far more at ease as he took leave than he had been at the outset of his first such journey three years earlier. He was a famous poet now, with a large circle of friends and disciples. They gave him many farewell presents, invited him to picnics and dinners, and arranged several verse-writing parties in his honor. Those who could not attend sent their poems. These verses, totaling nearly three hundred and fifty, were later collected and published under the title Farewell Verses (Kusenbetsu). there were so many festivities that to Basho "the occasion looked like some dignitary's departure - very imposing indeed."

He followed roughly the same route as on his journey of 1684, again visiting friends and writing verses here and there on the way. He reached Ueno at the year's end and was heartily welcomed as a leading poet in Edo. Even the young head of his former master's family, whose service he had left in his youth, invited him for a visit. In the garden a cherry tree which Yoshitada had loved was in full bloom:

Myriads of things past
Are brought to my mind -
These cherry blossoms!

In the middle of the spring Basho left Ueno, accompanied by one of his students, going first to Mount Yoshino to see the famous cherry blossoms. He traveled to Wakanoura to enjoy the spring scenes of the Pacific coast, and then came to Nara at the time of fresh green leaves. On he went to Osaka, and then to Suma and Akashi on the coast of Seto Inland Sea, two famous places which often appeared in old Japanese classics.

From Akashi Basho turned back to the east, and by way of Kyoto arrived at Nagoya in midsummer. After resting there for awhile, he headed for the mountains of central Honshu, an area now popularly known as the Japanese Alps. An old friend of his and a servant, loaned to him by someone who worried about the steep roads ahead accompanied Basho. His immediate purpose was to see the harvest moon in the rustic Sarashina district. As expected, the trip was a rugged one, but he did see the full moon at that place celebrated in Japanese literature. He then traveled eastward among the mountains and returned to Edo in late autumn after nearly a year of traveling.

This was probably the happiest of all Basho's journeys. He had been familiar with the route much of the way, and where he had not, a friend and a servant had been there to help him. His fame as a poet was fairly widespread, and people he met on the way always treated him with courtesy. It was a productive journey, too. In addition to a number of haiku and renku, he wrote two journals: The Records of a Travel-Worn Satchel (Oi no Kobumi), which covers his travel from Edo to Akashi, and A Visit to Sarashina Village (Sarashina Kiko), which focuses on his moon viewing trip to Sarashina. The former has an especially significant place in the Basho canon, including among other things a passage that declares the haikai to be among the major forms of Japanese art. He was now clearly aware of the significance of haikai writing; he was confident that the haikai, as a serious form of art, could point toward an invaluable way of life.

It was no wonder, then, that Basho began preparing for the next journey almost immediately. As he described it, it was almost as if the God of Travel were beckoning him. Obsessed with the charms of the traveler's life, he now wanted to go beyond his previous journeys; he wanted to be a truer wanderer than ever before. In a letter written around this time, he says he admired the life of a monk who wanders about with only a begging bowl in his hand. Basho now wanted to travel, not as a renowned poet, but as a self-disciplining monk. Thus in the pilgrimage to come he decided to visit the northern part of Honshu, a mostly rustic and in places even wild region where he had never been and had hardly an acquaintance. He was to cover about fifteen hundred miles on the way. Of course it was going to be the longest journey of his life.

Accompanied by Sora, Basho left Edo in the late spring of 1689. Probably because of his more stern and ascetic attitude toward the journey, farewell festivities were fewer and quieter this time. He proceeded northward along the main road stopping at places of interest such as the Tosho Shrine at Nikko, the hot spa at Nasu, and an historic castle site at Iizuka. When he came close to the Pacific coast near Sendai he admired the scenic beauty of Matsushima. From Hiraizumi, a town well known as the site of a medieval battle, Basho turned west and reached the coast of the Sea of Japan at Sakata. After a short trip to Kisagata in the north, he turned southwest and followed the main road along the coast. It was from this coast that he saw the island of Sado in the distance and wrote one of his most celebrated poems:

The rough sea -
Extending toward Sado Isle,
The Milky Way.

Because of the rains, the heat, and the rugged road, this part of the journey was very hard for Basho and Sora, and they were both exhausted when he finally arrived at Kanazawa. They rested at the famous hot spring at Yamanaka for a few days, but Sora, apparently because of prolonged ill- health, decided to give up the journey and left his master there. Basho continued alone until he reached Fukui. There he met an old acquaintance who accompanied him as far as Tsuruga, where another old friend had come to meet Basho, and the two traveled south until they arrived at Ogaki, a town Basho knew well. A number of Basho's friends and disciples were there, and the long journey through unfamiliar areas was finally over. One hundred and fifty-six days had passed since he left Edo.

The travel marked a climax in Basho's literary career. He wrote some of his finest haiku during the journey. The resulting journal The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Oku no Hosomichi), is one of the highest attainments in the history of poetic diaries in Japan. His literary achievement was no doubt a result of his deepening maturity as a man. He had come to perceive a mode of life by which to resolve some deep dilemmas and to gain peace of mind. It was based on the idea of sabi, the concept that one attains perfect spiritual serenity by immersing oneself in the egoless, impersonal life of nature. The complete absorption of one's petty ego into the vast, powerful, magnificent universe - this was the underlying theme of many poems by Basho at this time, including the haiku on the Milky Way we have just seen. This momentary identification of man with inanimate nature was, in his view, essential to poetic creation. Though he never wrote a treatise on the subject, there is no doubt that Basho conceived some unique ideas about poetry in his later years. Apparently it was during this journey that he began thinking about poetry n more serious, philosophical terms. The two earliest books known to record Basho's thoughts on poetry, Records of the Seven Days (Kikigaki Nanukagusa) and Conversations at Yamanaka (Yamanaka Mondo), resulted from it.

Basho spent the next two years visiting his old friends and disciples in Ueno, Kyoto, and towns on the southern coast of Lake Biwa. With one or another of them he often paid a brief visit to other places such as Ise and Nara. Of numerous houses he stayed at during this period Basho seems to have especially enjoyed two: the Unreal Hut and the House of Fallen Persimmons, as they were called. The Unreal Hut, located in the woods off the southernmost tip of lake Biwa, was a quiet, hidden place where Basho rested from early summer to mid-autumn in 1690. He thoroughly enjoyed the idle, secluded life there, and described it in a short but superb piece of prose. Here is one of the passages:

In the daytime an old watchman from the local shrine or some villager from the foot of the hill comes along and chats with me about things I rarely hear of, such as a wild boar's looting the rice paddies or a hare's haunting the bean farms. When the sun sets under the edge of the hill and night falls, I quietly sit and wait for the moon. With the moonrise I begin roaming about, casting my shadow on the ground.
When the night deepens, I return to the hut and meditate on right and wrong, gazing at the dim margin of a shadow in the lamplight.

Basho had another chance to live a similarly secluded life later at the House of the Fallen Persimmons in Saga, a northwestern suburb of Kyoto. The house, owned by one of his disciples, Mukai Kyorai (1651-1704), was so called because persimmon trees grew around it. There were also a number of bamboo groves, which provided the setting for a well-known poem by Basho:

The cuckoo -
Through the dense bamboo grove,
Moonlight seeping.

Basho stayed at this house for seventeen days in the summer of 1691. The sojourn resulted in The Saga Diary (Saga Nikki), the last of his longer prose works.

All during this period at the two hideaways and elsewhere in the Kyoto-Lake Biwa area, Basho was visited by many people who shared his interest in poetry. Especially close to him were two of his leading disciples, Kyorai and Nozawa Boncho (16?-1714), partly because they were compiling a haikai anthology under Basho's guidance. The anthology, entitled The Monkey's Raincoat (Sarumino) and published in the early summer of 1691 represented a peak in haikai of the Basho style. Basho's idea of sabi and other principles of verse writing that evolved during his journey to the far north were clearly there. Through actual example the new anthology showed that the haikai could be a serious art form capable of embodying mature comments on man and his environment.

Basho returned to Edo in the winter of 1691. His friends and disciples there, who had not seen him for more than two years, welcomed him warmly. for the third time they combined their efforts to build a hut for their master, who had given up the old one just before his latest journey. In this third Basho Hut, however, he could not enjoy the peaceful life he desired. For one thing, he now had a few people to look after. An invalid nephew had come to live with Basho, who took care of him until his death in the spring of 1693. A woman by the name of Jutei, with whom Basho apparently had had some special relationship in his youth, also seems to have come under his care at this time. She too was in poor health, and had several young children besides. Even apart from these involvements, Basho was becoming extremely busy, no doubt due to his great fame as a poet. many people wanted to visit him, or invited him for visits. for instance, in a letter presumed to have been written on the eighth of the twelfth month, 1693, he told one prospective visitor that he would not be home on the ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth, suggesting that the visitor come either on the thirteenth or the eighteenth.3 In another letter written about the same time, he bluntly said: "Disturbed by others, Have no peace of mind." That New Year he composed this haiku:

Year after year
On the monkey's face
A monkey's mask.

The poem has a touch of bitterness unusual for Basho. He was dissatisfied with the progress that he (and possibly some of his students) was making.

As these responsibilities pressed on him, Basho gradually became somewhat nihilistic. He had become a poet in order to transcend worldly involvements, but now he found himself deeply involved in worldly affairs precisely because of his poetic fame. The solution was either to renounce being a poet or to stop seeing people altogether. Basho first tried the former, but to no avail. "I have tried to give up poetry and remain silent," he said, "but every time I did so a poetic sentiment would solicit my heart and something would flicker in my mind. Such is the magic spell of poetry." He had become too much of a poet. Thus he had to resort to the second alternative: to stop seeing people altogether. This he did in the autumn of 1693, declaring:

Whenever people come, there is useless talk. Whenever I go, and visit, I have the unpleasant feeling of interfering with other men's business. Now I can do nothing better than follow the examples of Sun Ching and Tu Wu-lang,4 who confined themselves within locked doors. Friendlessness will become my friend, and poverty my wealth. A stubborn man at fifty years of age, I thus write to discipline myself.


The morning-glory -
In the daytime, a bolt is fastened
On the frontyard gate.

Obviously, Basho wished to admire the beauty of the morning-glory without having to keep a bolt on his gate. How to manage to do this must have been the subject of many hours of meditation within the locked house. He solved the problem, at least to his own satisfaction, and reopened the gate about a month after closing it.
Basho's solution was based on the principle of "lightness," a dialectic transcendence of sabi. Sabi urges man to detach himself from worldly involvements; "lightness" makes it possible for him, after attaining that detachment, to return to the mundane world. man lives amid the mire as a spiritual bystander. He does not escape the grievances of living; standing apart, he just smiles them away. Basho began writing under this principle and advised his students to emulate him. The effort later came to fruition in several haikai anthologies, such as A Sack of Charcoal (Sumidawara), The Detached Room (Betsuzashiki) and The Monkey's Cloak, Continued (Zoku Sarumino). Characteristic verses in these collections reject sentimentalism and take a calm, carefree attitude to the things of daily life. they often exude lighthearted humor.

Having thus restored his mental equilibrium, Basho began thinking about another journey. He may have been anxious to carry his new poetic principle, "lightness," to poets outside of Edo, too. Thus in the summer of 1694 he traveled westward on the familiar road along the Pacific coast, taking with him one of Jutei's children, Jirobei. He rested at Ueno for a while, and then visited his students in Kyoto and in town near the southern coast of Lake Biwa. Jutei, who had been struggling against ill health at the Basho Hut, died at this time and Jirobei temporarily returned to Edo. Much saddened, Basho went back to Ueno in early autumn for about a month's rest. He then left for Osaka with a few friends and relatives including his elder brother's son Mataemon as well as Jirobei. But Basho's health was rapidly failing, even though he continued to write some excellent verses.
One of his haiku in Osaka was:

This autumn
Why am I aging so?
Flying towards the clouds, a bird.

The poem indicates Basho's awareness of approaching death. Shortly afterward he took to his bed with a stomach ailment, from which he was not to recover. Numerous disciples hurried to Osaka and gathered at his bedside. He seems to have remained calm in his last days. He scribbled a deathbed note to his elder brother, which in part read: "I am sorry to have to leave you now. I hope you will live a happy life under Mataemon's care and reach a ripe old age. There is nothing more I have to say." The only thing that disturbed his mind was poetry. According to a disciple's record, Basho fully knew that it was time for prayers, not for verse writing, and yet he thought of the latter day and night. Poetry was now an obsession - "a sinful attachment," as he himself called it. His last poem was:

On a journey, ailing -
My dreams roam about
Over a withered moor.


The Permanence of Bashō

Yet, he [Buson] distinctly differed from Bashō in some ways. The most important difference was that in the person of Buson there was usually a certain distance between the man and the poet. Buson, as a man living his daily life, was often remote from the reality presented in his poem. This is clearly seen when, for instance, his poem on summer rains is place alongside Bashō’s on the same subject:

samidare o
atsumete hayashi
Mogami-gawa

gathering the rains
of summer, how swiftly flows
the Mogami River!


Obviously Bashō is standing at the edge of the swift-flowing river, while Buson looks down at the river from a far-off hill –– probably an imaginary hill. Bashō’s mature haiku are mostly based on deeply felt emotion, whereas Buson often concocts a sentiment for his poem’s sake. Bashō sought liberation from mundane life and expressed it in a poem whenever he actually attained it. Buson composed a poem about it and then escaped into that poem. This difference shows in their works.
The Haikai Restoration movement by Buson and his contemporaries, with their tenet ”Return to Bashō,” accelerated the trend toward Bashō idolatry which was already well under way at a more popular level. Various episodes about Bashō life, many of them fictional, were published in numerous books hailing him as a divinely inspired poet. The Shinto headquarters officially deified him at the hundredth anniversary of his death, and the imperial court gave him a similar honor thirteen years later. Ironically, haikai itself went steadily downward in quality soon after Buson’s death. It became nothing more than a hobby, a pastime, an ornament to urbane life, for most of those who wrote it. Its democratization resulted in its vulgarization. This in the nineteenth century an ever greater number of haikai poets came to admire Bashō’s name, but there were few who could rightly claim to have inherited any aspect of his literary genius.

One notable exception to this degenerating trend was the work of Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), who with his intense personality and vital language created shockingly impassioned verse. He is generally considered a most conspicuous heretic to the Bashō tradition, because many of his renowned haiku are characterized either by fierce hatred of human evil voiced in a language of unrestrained passion, or by untainted love of children and small animals expressed in a language of childlike artlessness. Yet, he, too, was an admirer of Bashō and wrote some haiku imprinted with the old master’s influence:

kogarashi ya
ko no ha ni kurumu
shiozakana

the wintry gust ––
wrapped in a leaf
salty relish


suzushisa ya
nori no kawakanu
koandon

how cool!
the past is not yet dry
on a paper lantern



Furthermore, Issa was more like Bashō than Buson in that poetry and life were at one in him. For Issa, a haiku was not the product of an exquisite fancy conjured up in a studio, but the vital expression of an actual life-feeling. Poetry was a diary of his heart; an a matter of fact, the two haiku we have seen appear in his diaries. In this sense Issa could more truly be said to be Bashō’s heir than most of the haikai poets in the nineteenth century.


Twentieth Century Images of Basho
The first free inflow of Western civilization to Japan took place dramatically toward the end of the nineteenth century, providing the Japanese with a chance to reconsider and re-evaluate their traditional, social, intellectual, and literary values. Haikai, then at the lowest ebb in its history, underwent a thorough reappraisal. One consequence of this was the destruction of the Bashō idolatry, and the destruction was rather too complete.

In the opinion of some contemporary poets fervently aspiring to the type of freedom and individualism available in Western society, Bashō was one of the feudal institutions that
unduly bound their creative urge. Buson seemed a more attractive figure, because he was more unfettered in his imagination and more daring in his sensual expression, while Bashō appeared to be looking backward to Saigyō and other medieval ascetics. The of Bashō and the elevation of Buson, eloquently proposed by Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), profoundly affected many haiku poets in succeeding decades. On the other hand, the fall of Bashō as a haikai god had the effect of freeing him from the narrow haiku world. His poetry began to attract the serious attention of writers outside of the haiku poets’ circles, who could now more freely form their own images of Bashō. Bashō’s influence widened in scope as soon as he was toppled from the sacred pedestal.

The first new image assigned to Bashō was that of a Japanese group of young poets who heralded a new age in the history of Japanese poetry. For a millennium Japanese poetry had largely been confined to the rigid forms of tanka and haikai; these revolutionaries broke down that convention and brought it closer to the freer forms of
Western verse. These “new style” poets were ardent followers of Western Romantic poets, such as Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Heine, Goethe, and Hoffmann, and they saw in Bashō a Japanese version of their Western models. In their view he was a social misfit, an introverted dreamer and an eternal wanderer in search of a mystic union with the heart of some superhuman power lying beyond the reach of the human intellect. It was natural that they, writing in Japanese, sometimes echoed that haikai poet when creating Japanese counterparts to Western Romantic heroes. For instance, “The Poem of Horai” (“Horai Kyoku”) by Kitamura Tōkoku (1868-94), a dramatic poem inspired by Byron’s “Manfred,” employs images reminiscent of Bashō in depicting its wandering hero:

Since leaving the capital
My aimless journey, how many springs and autumns?
That ever unstoppable traveler, Time, meant little to me.
Straw sandals, I liberally changed
From an old pair to a new one, each pair stamping
My footprints that remained forever behind me . . .


A similar image of a lonely traveler appears in two of the most celebrated modern Japanese poems, “By the Old Castle at Komoro” (Komoro naru Kojō no Hotori”) and “Song of Travel on the Chikuma River” (“Chikuma-gawa Ryojō no Uta”) by Shimazaki Tōson (1872-1943), who belonged to the same Romantic group as a young poet. Tōson, whose birthplace was near the setting of A Visit to Sarashina Village, was a lifelong admirer of Bashō and once took time out to write an essay on his haiku.

After a short season of Romanticism, the “new style” of Japanese poetry went through an extensive period of Symbolism under the influence of Baudelaire, Verhaeren, Mallarmé, Verlaine, Rossetti, and others. Not surprisingly, Bashō then came to be considered a Symbolist. According to the modern Japanese Symbolist poets, Bashō ventured deep into the forest of nature and had mystic “correspondences” with it. He was aware, they said, o the interrelatedness of all things in the universe and tried to suggest it by Symbolist means such as synesthesia. In the preface to a poetry collection which marked the beginning of the Symbolist period in modern Japanese verse, Kanabara Yūmei (1876-1952) calls Bashō’s haiku “the most Symbolic of all Japanese literature”; the very title of the poetry collection Birds of Spring (Shunchōshū), is borrowed from Bashō. Another leading Symbolist poet, Miki Rofū (1889-1964), included an essay on Bashō in one of his books on verse with the remark that Bashō’s haiku” have a Symbolist mood, if we express it in our words.” The most colorful of all Japanese Symbolists, Kitahara Hakushū (1885-1942, wrote several poems on Bashō, one of which echoes his dictum “Learn about a pine tree from a pine tree, and about a bamboo plant from a bamboo plant”:

A poem is something spontaneous,
Something of life.
Because of a pine tree, the wind of pine.
Because of a pasania tree, the cool breeze of pasania.


The same idea is reflected in a more distinctly Symbolist poem by Hakushū, entitled “Platinum Correspondences”:

Birds, beast, various fish and shellfish
May they all accept themselves as they are!

Stars, mountains, clouds, rains, and storms:
May they all perfume themselves as they are, too!

Then, may the senses of trees and grass
Correspond with the sorrowful feelings of mankind!


Here the “correspondences” of Bashō are merged with their counterpart in Western Symbolism, Hakushū, together with some other Japanese Symbolist poets of his time, leaned more and more toward Bashō as he grew older.

The Symbolist movement in Japanese poetry had its counterpart in the novel, in the so-called Neo-Sensualist movement that flourished in the 1920s. A reaction against Naturalistic Realism that emphasized scientific accuracy in describing the cold facts of life, the new movement insisted that the foremost technique of the novel should be the symbolization of sensory perceptions which pierce through the facts. “In brief,”explained its chief exponent, Yokomitsu Riichi (1898-1947), the New Sensualist’s “sensuous symbol” refers to that which is catalyzed by an intuition of the subject which has jumped into the object after peeling off its natural exterior.” Most likely the idea was inspired by fashionable Western literary and esthetic movements such as Futurism, Cubism, Expressionism, Dadaism, as well as Symbolism, but it unquestionably resembles Bashō’s poetry, which he regarded very highly. His characteristic prose style seems to share some basic quality with Bashō’s haiku, too. The last two sentences of the following passage, taken from one of his short stories, provide an example:

At the edge of the veranda Kaji and Takada immediately began composing haiku on the assigned topic of the day, “Arrowroot Flowers.” Kaji was sitting with an open notebook on his lap, his back turned toward the interior of the house and his body leaning against a pillar. He felt as if his weariness were being absorbed into the green of the oranges that casually touched one another on the drooping branches. A cicada’s incessant cry reverberated through the air, reaching the evening sky that still reflected the brightness of the sea below.

Certainly her are a Symbolist’s “correspondences,” but they are closer to Bashō’s than to Baudelaire’s. As a matter of fact, all the main characters of this story, including Kaji and Takada, are haiku writers. Yosomitsu himself was fond of writing haiku and composed a considerable number. It was only natural that he should apply typical haiku techniques ,such as surprising comparison and the merging of the senses, to the writing

source : terebess.hu/english


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. Cultural Keywords used by Basho .

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


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14/05/2012

Komojishi Collection

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- Komojishi shuu 薦獅子集 Komojishi Shu Collection -
Komojishi shū - 俳諧薦獅子集 (こもじし)

Compiled by his disciple Hasui from Kanazawa 巴水編
The original collection had 12 hokku.

. Hasui and disciples from Kanazawa 金沢 .

A collection offered to Sumiyoshi Shrine 住吉神社 in 1693.
In memory of Saigyo.



Sakai no Myoojin 境の明神 (福島) Sakai no Myojin Shrine, Fukushima
Two shrines at the border to the Northern Territories. One on each side of the frontier line. On the inner side a shrine for the female deity (Tamatsushima Myojin 玉津島) to protect the interior. On the outer side a shrine for a male deity (Sumiyoshi Myojin 住吉明神) to protect from enemies of the outside. Travellers in the Edo period used to pray here for a safe trip and gave thanks after a trip was finished.

Oku no Hosomichi
. - - - Station 10 - Shirakawa no Seki 白川の関 - - - .

There is also a shrine of the Sumiyoshi line in Kanazawa.
. Sumiyoshi Jinja 住吉神社 Sumiyoshi Shrines in Japan .


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春もやや気色ととのふ月と梅
春もやゝけしきとゝのふ月と梅
haru mo yaya keshiki totonou tsuki to ume
芭蕉 Basho

spring is slowly
taking shape -
moon and plum blossoms

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written in 1693 元禄6年春.
Probably an inscription to a painting.
The extra joy of seeing the moon with the plum blossoms, making the arriving of spring even more pleasant.



source : bokutei/isibumi

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毒だめのその名もゆかし春の草
Bonchoo 野沢凡兆/加生


國の子はわろさいふらん手向草
智月 Chigetsu


西行は死まて花のこゝろ哉
自笑 Jishoo


雲の嶺心のたけをくつしけり
路通 Rotsuu


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- - - and again 芭蕉 Basho :


蛤の生るかひあれとしの暮
. hamaguri no ikeru kai are toshi no kure .


ひごろにくき烏も雪の朝哉
. higoro nikuki karasu mo yuki no ashita kana .


鎖あけて月さし入よ浮御堂 / 鎖あけて月さし入れよ浮み堂
鎖 ( じやう ) 明けて月さし入れよ 浮御堂
. joo akete tsuki sashireyo Ukimi Doo .


小萩ちれますほの小貝小盃
. ko hagi chire Masuho no ko-gai ko sakazuki .


塩鯛の歯ぐきも寒し魚の店
. shiodai no haguki mo samushi uo no tana .


年々や猿に着せたる猿の面
. toshidoshi ya saru ni kisetaru saru no men .


月花の愚に針たてん寒の入
. tsuki hana no gu ni hari taten kan no iri .


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- reference -


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. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - His Work - .


. Cultural Keywords used by Basho .

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


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[ . BACK to WORLDKIGO . TOP . ]
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