Sunday, November 4, 2018

Carpe Diem's Leafless Tree #3 Morikawa Kyoroku, one of Basho's disciples

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to give you another episode of our special feature "Leafless Tree" in which I introduce not renown haiku poets of all times. This time I have chosen for one of Basho's ten most important disciples, Morikawa Kyoroku (1656-1715). And I even remember that I have introduced him somewhere in our rich CDHK history. Let me tell you a little bit more about Kyoroku:

Kyoroku’s haiku debut was with Kitamura Kingin. He was part of the Danrin Haikai school.
In 1689 he became a more serious haikai master and studied with Esa Shoohaku (1650-1722) of the Basho disciples in Omi.

During a trip to Edo in 1691 he studied with Kikaku and Ransetsu. In 1692 he met Basho in Fukagawa. Since he was a man of many talents and "six (roku) arts" (spear, sword, horse riding, calligraphy, painting and haikai), Basho offered him the haikai name of Kyoroku.
Kyoroku could only study with Basho for about 10 months, before he had to go back to his domaine in Hikone.
Basho wrote for him Saimon no Ji (The Rustic Gate), with all the secrets of haikai writing.

Morikawa Kyoroku (1656-1715)

Kyoroku was one of the 10 most important haiku disciples of Basho, but isn't as renown as his master. He was quite close to Basho in his later years. Kyoroku even taught Basho how to paint even better, since Kyoroku was an experienced painter himself of the Kano school of painting.
There are also some co-operations with poems by Basho on paintings by Kyoroku.

When he got news of the death of his beloved master, he cut a cherry tree, carved a statue of Basho and send it to Kawai Chigetsu.

What a wonderful idea this is. How would I have enjoyed the company of Basho and learn the skills you need to write / create haiku ... must have been really awesome I think.

Morning Glories

Here are a few haiku written by Kyoroku:

ah! morning glories
are at their best while I chant
my morning prayers

it is dawn
the castle surrounded
by quacking wild ducks

© Morikawa Kyoroku (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Deep in the water, 
softly moving his fins, 
a carp, dreaming

© Morikawa Kyoroku (Tr. unknown)

The goal of "Carpe Diem's Leafless Tree" - feature is to create your own haiku or tanka inspired on the haiku given by me. Try to touch the same tone and sense as in the haiku.

Here is mine:

veiled moon
in her faint light we sail the lake
the call of plovers

© Chèvrefeuille

Well I hope you did like this "Leafless Tree" episode and that it will inspire you to create your own haiku, tanka or other kind of Japanese poetry inspired on the beautiful haiku by Kyoroku.

This episode of "Carpe Diem's Leafless Tree" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 11th at noon (CET). Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Another wonderful and informative feature. Learning a lot of good stuff. Thank you for sharing information about haiku styles about unknown poets. Have a nice Sunday!
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