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Nakayama is between Narita And Haneda International Airport

中山・下総・散歩道

Matsuo Basho / The Greatest Haikai Poet

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 in 1672.
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.


参考
日本史辞典 新制版
大辞林
世界日本人名事典

Haikai

Haikai

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 comical tastes.
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.


参考
日本史辞典 新制版
大辞林
世界日本人名事典

Haiku

Haiku

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.


参考
日本史辞典 新制版
大辞林
世界日本人名事典

Renga

Renga

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'.


参考
日本史辞典 新制版
大辞林
世界日本人名事典

Tanka

Tanka

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.


参考
日本史辞典 新制版
大辞林
世界日本人名事典

Choka

Choka

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.


参考
日本史辞典 新制版
大辞林
世界日本人名事典

Senryu

Senryu

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.


参考
日本史辞典 新制版
大辞林
世界日本人名事典