Day 19: Haiku, Basho

 

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Basho, Matsuo. (1644-1694).
The name Basho (banana tree) is a sobriquet he adopted around 1681 after moving into a hut with a banana tree alongside. He was called Kinsaku in childhood and Matsuo Munefusa in his later days.

Basho’s father was a low-ranking samurai from the Iga Province. To be a samurai, Basho serviced for the local lord Todo Yoshitada (Sengin). Since Yoshitada was fond of writing haikai, Basho began writing poetry under the name Sobo.

During the years, Basho made many travels through Japan, and one of the most famous went to the north, where he wrote Oku No Hosomichi (1694). On his last trip, he died in Osaka, and his last haiku indicates that he was still thinking of traveling and writing poetry as he lay dying:

Fallen sick on a journey,
In dreams I run wildly
Over a withered moor.

 

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One thought on “Day 19: Haiku, Basho

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