Basho Matsuo1644 - 1694
Basho Matsuo was the greatest haikai
poet born in Iga
Ueno in Mie Prefecture
in early Edo period
, his name was Munefusa. Basho is his pseudonym to write his poem. He worked
for Yoshitada Todo, an officer of Iga Uenojo Castle and a famous haikai
poet named Sengin his pseudonym.
Basho learned haikai poem from Kigin Kitamura, a very famous haikai poet.
And he went to Kyoto after the death of Yoshitada in 1663. After that he
dropped out Todo Clan and he finally went to Edo
He had spent his life on the bum and with several people to study haikai
poem. In 1680, he settled in Bashoan in Fukagawa
and he changed his pseudonym to Basho. He created his haikai poems without
any vulgar taste that established his style called Shofu and it made haikai
highly literary works.
He wrote many poems and travel notes that expressed life and nature. And he taught and raised many disciples, especially his 10 disciples called 'Shomon Ju Tetsu' were very famous.
The word 'Haikai' is an abbreviation of 'Haikai no Renga
'. Haikai is one of the unique Japanese style short poems. Haikai is a
literary work that had been formed in the community called 'Za' based on
Haikai was built up with Hokku (the first line), Renku (the linked verses) and Haibun (the taste).
First in late Muromachi period
, haikai works were comical and vulgar renga poems that Sokan Yamazaki,
Moritake Arakida and so on created. And in Edo period
, Teitoku Matsunaga made hikai a unique genre of Japanese poems. The style
of haikai poems were gradually changed by two study groups called 'Teimon'
and 'Danrin', finally, Basho Matsuo
established Shofu style, then, hikai poems became the literature.
Haiku is one of the genres of Japanese unique short poems, it is formed 3 lines of words, the first line has 5 kana letters, the second line has 7, and the final line has 5, so haiku is the short poem expressing only 17 kana letters. It has the rule that it must have a seasonal word. Haiku was the first line of Renga
that independently improved to be a new style of poem. Moreover, the word
'Haiku' is an abbreviation of 'Haikai no Ku'. Originally, Haiku implied
every line of verses. In the middle of Meiji era (1868 - 1912), Shiki Masaoka
used the word Haiku, so it became popular.
Renga is one genre of Japanese classic poems. Renga is created two divisions
of Tanka Poem
, 2 people divides a tanka poem, one creates Kami no ku (the first line
of the poem) and another one creates Shimo no ku (the second line).
In Myriad of Leaves (Manyoshu)
, Yakamochi Otomo created a Renga poem with a nun.
In Heian Period
, it was played by poets as an entertainment to joy people attending parties.
At that time, they enjoyed Tan Renga (the short renga) with two lines,
and it had gradually got longer, many poets enjoyed creating a renga having
more than three lines (cho renga) together. This cho renga was popular
in Kamakura Period
. The styles and rules how to create and play Renga poems were settled
gradually, and Ushin Rengas like traditional Japanese poems were improved.
On the other hand, Mushin Rengas having humorous tastes were played. However,'Tsukubashu'
was published and Ushin Renga was established tobe literature in Nanbokucho Period
. Shinkei, Kaneyoshi Ichijo and Sogi were famous.
Late Muromachi Period
, Haikai no Renga, the original style of haikai
, became popular.
The unique feature of Renga is that a group of people create a poem together.
Sometimes, it calles 'Turane Uta' and 'Tsuzuke Uta'.
Tanka is one genre of Japanese style poems, it is built up with 31 kana letters, a tanka poem is divided into 5 verses, the first verse is 5 letters, the second is 7, the third is 5, the forth and the last one are 7. The style of Tanka poems would be established in the ancient ages. After Heian Period
, the word 'Waka' (Japanese Poem) has implied 'Tanka'. Sometimes Tanka is called Miso Hito Moji.
Choka is a Japanese poem that is organized more than 3 couples of 2 verses
having 5 and 7 kana letters in each and ends two verses of 7 kana letters.
At the age of Manyoshu
, it was very popular, but it was declined after Heian period
Senryu is one genre of playful literatures born in Edo period
. In 18th century,
Senryu Karai published his book 'Haifu Yanagi Daru' and it became popular. Poets unconventionally express life and custom in Senryu with colloquial words. Though some poets make Senryus to express social critics in them, most of them have comical tastes to escape from the real world with negative thoughts.
Senryu has been very popular even now in Japan, especially Salary Man Senryu is the best example how popular it is.