Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
Shiki was born in Matsuyama City in Iyo province (present day Ehime prefecture) to a samurai class family of modest means. As a child, he was called Tokoronosuke; in adolescence, his name was changed to Noboru. His father, Tsunenao, was an alcoholic who died when Shiki was five years of age, but his mother, Yae, was a daughter of Ōhara Kanzan, a Confucian scholar. Kanzan was the first of Shiki's extra-school tutors.
At age 15 Shiki became something of a political radical, attaching himself to the then-waning Freedom and People's Rights Movement and getting himself banned from public speaking by the principal of Matsuyama Middle School, which he was attending. At this school he became friends with Natsume Soseki (maybe you remember him from one of our Theme Weeks).
Shiki was the name-giver of our beloved haiku, before him, haiku was mostly named “hokku” or “haikai”. With Shiki haiku entered the 20th century.
Let us visit the region were Shiki was born, Iyo Province (nowadays Ehime Prefecture).
Ehime Prefecture is known for its waterfalls, mountains and meadows and for sure those were an inspiration for Shiki and I think we can be inspired through the beautiful nature of Ehime Prefecture too.
high up on the mountain
Is this in Shiki's style? I don't know but I think it could have been written by Shiki, because Shiki was a master in using the haiku writing technique "shasei" or "depicting the thing as it is". (More on "shasei" you can find HERE.
An example of a "shasei"- haiku by Shiki:
come spring as of old
when such revenues of rice
braced this castle town!
© Masaoka Shiki
|© photo Ehime Prefecture
|Machu Picchu in the East
wandering through the streets