Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
We are on a journey along the haiku of the ''big-five'' and today we have the fourth haiku by Basho. As you have seen maybe our Tan Renga Challenge is also a haiku by Basho. That Tan Renga Challenge haiku is one of his first verses, but in this ''regular'' episode I love to share his first haiku ever (as far as we know). As he wrote/composed this haiku he was a young guy of nearly 20 yrs old. And in my opinion this haiku looks like the haiku of a beginner, but as we will look closer ... this haiku is a masterpiece, one of his first masterpieces. This haiku isn't wellknown, but I think you will like it.
Basho was born in the small village now known as Ueno in the Iga Province (now called Mie Prefecture), which is about 30 miles southeast of Kyoto, and 200 miles west of Tokyo. Located in a river basin surrounded by the Suzuka and Muro Mountains, the town also boasts the Iga Ueno Castle, which has the highest walls of any other castle in Japan. In the central park of Ueno is a huge memorial to Basho.
|Credits: Basho Memorial Museum Ueno, Japan|
Basho was called Munefusa when, as a young lad, he entered the retinue of Todo Yoshikiyu, a relative of the feudal lord who ruled the province. Since there is no official record of his service, it has been suggested that his position was a very low one. We don not know what his official job was, but it is certain that Basho became a close friend of the man's son, Yoshitada, whao was only two years older. One of their passions was for verse-writing to the extent that Yoshitada took on a nom de plume of Sengin, and Basho called himself Sobo, the sinified rendition of Munefusa. (Later on in his life he changed his nom de plume into Tosei and later on to Basho. He took the nom de plume Basho after he was given a ''basho-tree'' (banana-tree) by one of his disciples.)
|Credits: Bronze statue of Basho. Ueno Park Japan|
This is the earliest of Basho's saved poems:
© Matsuo Basho (Tr. David Landis Barnhill)
I think you can imagine why Basho wrote this haiku, so I leave it ... no explanation ... just visualize the scene.
zacht fluistert het jonge groen
de naam van Boeddha.