+ Bibliography
+ About the Speakers

RELATED TOPIC:
BASHÔ'S NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH

RELATED TOPIC:
CHIKAMATSU MONZAEMON (1653-1725)

RELATED TOPIC:
SAIKAKU (1642-1693)

RELATED TOPIC:
TOKUGAWA JAPAN

 
BASHÔ, MASTER OF THE HAIKAI
AND HAIKU FORMS

Bashô's Contributions
Basho Video Clip

Haruo Shirane :: What Bashô does is he takes this very popular form and raises it to new heights. And he's important in a number of respects: one, he becomes the embodiment of the Japanese tradition for subsequent generations. And this is for a number of reasons. One, because he draws on the medieval tradition, so he represents the medieval tradition in some sense. He comes from the Tokugawa period, and he's addressing the Tokugawa period audience and has commoner concerns, he's using the commoner language. And he's also refining the hokku, the opening verse, into what would become haiku, the most popular form in Japanese literature, in Japanese culture. And so he's looking forward to the modern period when haiku becomes the most important poetic form.