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Encyclopedia > Matsuo Basho
A statue of Bashō in Ogaki, Gifu.
A statue of Bashō in Ogaki, Gifu.

Matsuo Bashō (松尾芭蕉 Matsuo Bashō, 1644November 28, 1694) was the haigo (haikai pen name) of a Japanese poet of the Edo period. He is widely credited with raising the hokku form that would later be revised as haiku to its highest level, although in his lifetime, Bashō was renowned as a poet of haikai no renga (semi-comic linked verse usually created with a group of poets). Image File history File links Matsuo Basho Ogaki-shi description:Matsuo Basho creator:Makimoto File links The following pages link to this file: Matsuo Basho ... Ōgaki (大垣市; -shi) is a city located in Gifu, Japan. ... // Events February to August - Explorer Abel Tasmans second expedition for the Dutch East India Company maps the north coast of Australia. ... November 28 is the 332nd day (333rd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 6 - The colony Quilombo dos Palmares is destroyed. ... A pen name or nom de plume is a pseudonym adopted by an author. ... Poets are authors of poems, or of other forms of poetry such as dramatic verse. ... History of Japan Paleolithic Jomon Yayoi Yamato period ---Kofun period ---Asuka period Nara period Heian period Kamakura period Muromachi period Azuchi-Momoyama period ---Nanban period Edo period Meiji period Taisho period Showa period ---Japanese expansionism ---Occupied Japan ---Post-Occupation Japan Heisei The Edo period (江戸時代) is a division of Japanese... Haiku (俳句) is one of the most important forms of Japanese poetry. ...

Contents


Names

"Matsuo" was the poet's family name, but he is usually referred to simply as "Bashō" without the surname. He was known as Kinsaku as a child, and Munefusa after coming of age. He took a number of pen names in his life. An earlier pseudonym, Tosei, means unripe peach (or green peach), a homage to the Chinese poet Li Po, whose name means plum in white. He took the name Bashō, which means banana tree, from a tree given to him by a disciple and planted near his hut. It is said that the climate was too cool for this tree to bear fruit, and that he intended the pen name to evoke the idea of a useless poet, or at least of affection for what is useless. A pseudonym (Greek: false name) is a fictitious name used by an individual as an alternative to their legal name (whereas an allonym is the name of another actual person assumed by one person in authorship of a work of art; e. ... Li Po (701-762) was a Chinese poet, considered the greatest romantic poet of the Tang dynasty. ...


Alternate romanizations for Basho are rare, but can include Matuo Basyou, using Nihon-shiki, or Matuwo Baseu using a romanization corresponding more closely to the orthography used during his lifetime. In linguistics, romanization or latinization is a system for representing a word or language with the Roman (Latin) alphabet, where the original word or language used a different writing system. ... Nihon-shiki or Nippon-shiki (日本式 Japan-style; romanized as Nihon-siki or Nippon-siki in Nippon-shiki itself) is a romanization system for transcribing the Japanese language into the Roman alphabet. ...


Life

He was born in Ueno, in Iga Province, near Kyoto. He was the son of a low-ranking samurai, and initially worked in the service of a local lord, Todo Yoshitada, who was only two years older than himself. They both enjoyed writing haikai, and Bashō's first known work dates from 1662. By 1664 his first poems were published in Kyoto. Around this time he adopted the samurai name of Munefusa. In 1666 his master died, and Bashō opted to leave home rather than to serve a new master. His father had died in 1656. This article is about the town in Mie Prefecture. ... Iga Province (伊賀国; -no kuni) was an old province of Japan in the area that is today western Mie prefecture. ... This page is about the city Kyoto. ... Japanese samurai in armour, 1860 photograph. ... Events March 18 – Short-timed experiment of the first public buses holding 8 passengers begins in Paris May 3/May 2 - Catherine of Braganza marries Charles II of England – as part of the dowry, Portugal cedes Bombay and Tangier to England May 9 - Samuel Pepys witnessed a Punch and Judy... Events March 12 - New Jersey becomes a colony of England. ... Events September 2 - Great Fire of London: A large fire breaks out in London in the house of Charles IIs baker on Pudding Lane near London Bridge. ... // Events Mehmed Köprülü becomes Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire. ...


Traditionally he is thought to have lived in Kyoto for at least part of the next six years; he had poems published in several anthologies during this time. In 1672 he moved to Edo (now Tokyo). He continued to write, and by 1676 he was recognised as a master of haikai ("playful" linked verse of which the hokku was the first verse), publishing his own chapbook and judging poetry contests. He acquired a following of students, who built for him the first Bashō hut in the winter of 1680. Anthology may also mean a Alien Ant Farm album ANThology, see Anthology (AAF Album) An anthology is a collection of literary works, originally of poems, but in recent years its usage has broadened to be applied to collections of short stories and comic strips. ... Events England, France, Munster and Cologne invade the United Provinces, therefore this name is know as ´het rampjaar´ (the disaster year) in the Netherlands. ... Edo (Japanese: 江戸, literally: bay-door, estuary), once also spelled Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of the Japanese capital Tokyo. ... The modern skyline of Tokyo is highly decentralized. ... // Events January 29 - Feodor III becomes Tsar of Russia First measurement of the speed of light, by Ole Rømer Bacons Rebellion Russo-Turkish Wars commence. ... A chapbook is an item of popular literature, as would have formed part of the stock of a chapman, i. ... Events First Portuguese governor was appointed to Macau The Swedish city Karlskrona was founded as the Royal Swedish Navy relocated there. ...


He lived much of his life in a series of huts, from which he could contemplate nature but to which he also welcomed many visitors. He made a number of long journeys on foot, which he recounted in diaries which combine poems, his artistic theories and details of his perceptions. These works were published and increased his fame as a teacher of poetry, allowing him to live on the patronage of his many students.


Bashō found his success unsatisfying, and turned to Zen meditation for solace. In the winter of 1682 the hut burned down, and his mother died early in 1683. In the winter of 1683 his disciples gave him a second hut, but he remained dissatisfied. In the autumn of 1684 he began a journey which he was later to call The Records of a Weather-beaten Skeleton (Nozarashi Kiko)—the title of a travel journal of prose and poems which he produced at the journey's end. The trip took him from Edo to Mount Fuji, to Ise, Ueno and Kyoto, before returning to Edo in the summer of 1685. Zen is the Japanese name of a well known branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism, practiced originally in China as Chan, and subsequently in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. ... Meditation usually refers to a state in which the body is consciously relaxed and the mind is allowed to become calm and focused. ... Events March 11 – Chelsea hospital for soldiers is founded in England May 6 - Louis XIV of France moves his court to Versailles. ... Events June 6 - The Ashmolean Museum opens as the worlds first university museum. ... Events France under Louis XIV makes Truce of Ratisbon separately with the Empire and Spain. ... Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to the patterns of everyday speech. ... Mount Fuji (富士山 Fuji-san, IPA: ) is the highest mountain on the island of Honshu and indeed in all of Japan. ... This article is about the city in Mie Prefecture. ... Events February 6 - James Stuart, Duke of York becomes King James II of England and Ireland and King James VII of Scotland. ...


From his fast walking pace on trips, some believe that Bashō may have been a ninja. His long journeys also allowed him to observe conditions in the various provinces and hear the latest news, information of interest to the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate, which did employ ninja for such work. Bashō's birthplace in the Ueno area of Iga Province was rich in the ninja tradition, and he may have been a bodyguard to Todo Yoshitada in his early life. However, few literary scholars take the suggestion that he was a spy for the Tokugawa Shogunate seriously. A ninja on the cover of Black Belt magazine. ... The Tokugawa shogunate or Tokugawa bakufu (徳川幕府) (also known as the Edo bakufu) was a feudal military dictatorship of Japan established in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu and ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family until 1868. ... Iga Province (伊賀国; -no kuni) was an old province of Japan in the area that is today western Mie prefecture. ...


The journey seems to have been successful in banishing some of his demons, and his writings of the next few years tell of his peaceful enjoyment of friendship and nature. He made a short journey to Kashima in the autumn of 1687, in order to observe the harvest moon there. Again he produced a journal of the excursion, A Visit to the Kashima Shrine (Kashima Kiko). Kashima is the name of several places: Kashima, Ibaraki Kashima, Kagoshima Kashima, Kumamoto Kashima, Saga Kashima, Shimane Kashima Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Kashima, Ibaraki. ...


In the winter of that year he began his next long journey, after being given a send-off that "looked like a dignitary's departure". He passed through Ueno, Osaka, Suma, Akashi, Kyoto, Nagoya, the Japanese Alps and Sarashina, where he saw the harvest moon. The trip from Edo to Akashi is recounted in The Records of a Travel-worn Satchel (Oi no Kobumi), in which he sets out his belief in haikai as a major art form. The Sarashina trip is described in A Visit to Sarashina Village (Sarashina Kiko). Osaka Castle (ÅŒsaka-jō) Location in Japan Osaka Aquarium (Kaiyukan) Osaka railway station The Osaka Tower (TsÅ«tenkaku) Osaka City   listen? (大阪市; ÅŒsaka-shi) is the third-largest city in Japan, with a population of 2. ... Akashi (明石市; -shi) is a city located in southern Hyogo, Japan, on the Inland Sea west of Kobe. ... Nagoya Castle. ... The Japanese Alps is a mountain range in Japan, consisting of Hida Mountains, Kiso Mountains, and Akashi Mountains. ... Sarashina (更級郡; -gun) is a district located in Nagano, Japan. ... (This article is about the seasonal event, for the farm simulation video game, see Harvest Moon (game)) The Harvest Moon is the full moon that appears nearest to the autumnal equinox, which occurs on or about 23rd September. ...


Towards the end of spring, 1689, he began a more challenging excursion to the wilds of northern Honshu. Stops on this trip included the Nikko Toshogu, Matsushima, Kisagata and Kanazawa, this last part of the journey passing Sado island. Again he produced a travel diary, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Oku no Hosomichi), which is dominated by the concept of sabi: the identification of man with nature. Two further volumes developed the idea: Record of the Seven Days (Kikigaki Nanukagusa) and Conversations at Yamanaka (Yamanaka Mondo). Events Louis XIV of France passed the Code Noir, allowing the full use of slaves in the French colonies. ... todo mal de [ [ Shikoku ] ] a través del [ [ mar interior ] ], y noreste de [ [ Kyushu ] ] a través del [ [ estrecho de Kanmon ] ]. Es la séptima isla más grande, y la segunda isla populosa en el mundo después de [ [ Java (isla)|Java ] ] (véase [ [ lista de las islas de la población ] ]). < style=float del div... Torii and pagoda at entrance to Toshogu Nikko Toshogu (日光東照宮: Nikkō Tōshōgū) is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa line of shoguns in Japan. ... Matsushima (松島町; -machi) is a town located in Miyagi District, Miyagi, Japan. ... Kanazawa Kanazawa (金沢市; -shi) is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan. ... Sado can refer to: Sado, a city in Niigata Prefecture, Japan Sado province (佐渡国), an old province of Japan. ... Oku no Hosomichi (Japanese: 奥の細道, meaning Narrow Road to Oku [the Deep North]) is a major work by Matsuo Bashō. Oku no Hosomichi was written based on a journey taken by Bashō in the late spring of 1689. ... Sabi was the capital of the Korean kingdom of Baekje from AD 538 until Baekjes fall to Silla in 660. ...


From autumn 1689 onwards, Bash spent two years visiting friends and making short journeys around the area of Kyoto and Lake Biwa. During this period he worked on an anthology being compiled by some of his pupils—The Monkey's Raincoat (Sarumino)—which expressed and followed the aesthetic principles which he had arrived at during his northern journey. Reeds on the shore of Lake Biwa Lake Biwa, or Biwa-ko (琵琶湖), is the largest fresh water lake in Japan, located in Shiga Prefecture, northeast of the former capital city of Kyoto. ...


In the winter of 1691 he returned to Edo to live in his third Bashō hut, again provided by his followers. However, he did not remain alone: he took in a nephew and a woman friend, Jutei, who were both unwell, and he had a great many visitors. He complained in one letter that this left him "no peace of mind". In the autumn of 1693 he refused to see anybody for a month, relenting only after adopting the principle of karumi or "lightness": a policy of non-attachment which allowed him to live in the world but to rise above its frustrations. Events March 5 - French troops under Marshal Louis-Francois de Boufflers besiege the Spanish-held town of Mons March 29 - Siege of Mons ends to the city’s surrender October 3 - Treaty of Limerick which guaranteed civil rights to catholics was signed. ... Events January 11 - Eruption of Mt. ...


Bashō left Kyoto for the last time in the summer of 1694, and spent time in Ueno and Kyoto before coming to Osaka. He died there of a stomach illness, after writing his last hokku: Events February 6 - The colony Quilombo dos Palmares is destroyed. ... In anatomy, the stomach (in ancient Greek στόμαχος) is an organ in the alimentary canal used to digest food. ...

Travelling sick;
My dreams roam
On a withered moor.

Works

It was Bashō who raised haikai from comic verse, often written for light relief, to a serious form imbued with the spirit of Zen Buddhism. Many of his hokku were in fact the first three lines of longer [[renga|haikai no renga]] (semi-comic linked verses usually created with a group of poets rather than standalone works, but they have been collected and published on their own many times). His work was a great inspiration to later writers such as Kobayashi Issa and Masaoka Shiki, though Shiki not only criticized Bashō but also reformed hokku according to his own tastes in the late 19th century, separating if from linked verse entirely and renaming it "haiku." Thus Shiki became the first haiku poet in history; all composers of haikai no renga before him, including Bashō, are correctly termed writers of haikai or simply of hokku, if one is focusing on the opening verse, which always, even if only in theory, was understood to be part of a wider linked verse context. Zen is the Japanese name of a well known branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism, practiced originally in China as Chan, and subsequently in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. ... Kobayashi Issa (小林一茶 Kobayashi Issa) (June 15, 1763 - January 5, 1828) was a Japanese writer of haikai known for his hokku verses. ... Haiku by Shiki at Horyu-ji (temple): kaki kueba kane ga naru nari Hōryū-ji I bite into a persimmon and a bell resounds— Hōryūji —trans. ...


One of the most famous hokku attributed to Bashō (Matsushimaya Aa Matsushimaya Matsushimaya, extolling the wordless beauty of Matsushima Bay) was actually written by a late Edo period poet, Tawarabo. Basho preferred writing on the twelfth day of the tenth month of the lunar calendar, and using Shigure (時雨), a cold fall rain as a kigo. Categories: Japan geography stubs ... A lunar calendar is a calendar whose date indicates the moon phase. ... Cherry trees from Japan around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. Kigo (season word(s), from the Japanese 季語, kigo) are words or phrases that are generally associated with a particular season. ...


Bashō travelled very widely during his life, and many of his writings reflect his experiences on his travels. His book Oku no Hosomichi (奥の細道, The Narrow Road Through the Deep North), written in 1694 and widely seen as his finest, is an example of this. In it, prose descriptions of the landscape through which he travelled are interspersed with the hokku for which he is now most famous. Oku no Hosomichi (Japanese: 奥の細道, meaning Narrow Road to Oku [the Deep North]) is a major work by Matsuo Bashō. Oku no Hosomichi was written based on a journey taken by Bashō in the late spring of 1689. ... Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to the patterns of everyday speech. ...


Quotes

  • "There is nothing you can see that is not a flower; There is nothing you can think that is not the moon." [1]
  • "Sabi is the color of haikai. It is different from tranquility. For example, if an old man dresses up in armour and helmet and goes to the battlefield, or in colorful brocade kimono, attending (his lord) at a banquet, [sabi] is like this old figure." [2]
  • "Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home."

Wabi-sabi (in Kanji: 侘寂) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic. ...

Resources

  • Makoto Ueda, Bashō and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with Commentary, Stanford University Press © 1992 ISBN 0-8047-1916-0 cloth ISBN 0-8047-2526-8 pbk [457 pp. 255 hokku]
  • Haruo Shirane, Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Bashō, Stanford University Press © 1998 ISBN 0-8047-3098-9 cloth ISBN 0-8047-3099-7 pbk [381 pp.]

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about:
Matsuo Basho
  • Oku no Hosomichi in Japanese and English with notes.
  • Classical Japanese Database — various poems by Basho in original and translation

  Results from FactBites:
 
Matsuo Bashō - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1468 words)
Matsuo Bashō (Japanese: 松尾芭蕉, Matsuo Bashō, 1644–28 November 1694) was the haigo (haikai pen name) of a Japanese poet of the Edo period.
It is said that the climate was too cool for this tree to bear fruit, and that he intended the pen name to evoke the idea of a useless poet, or at least of affection for what is useless.
Basho preferred writing on the twelfth day of the tenth month of the lunar calendar, and using Shigure (時雨), a cold fall rain as a kigo.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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