Names in this site follow the Japanese custom of family name first.

August 9, 2006

Basho’s haiku in Nagoya: Tumbling in the snow

good-bye now,
I go snow viewing
till tumbling over

iza saraba | yukimi ni korobu | tokoro made


[Osu Kannon Temple, Nagoya]

This charming haiku was composed at a snow viewing party at the house of one Yudo, a bookseller in Nagoya, on December 3, 1687 (January 5, 1688 in our calendar). Basho may have written the poem after the meeting when he was about to leave the house and venture into the deep snow for a real expedience of the white world, instead of only viewing it from the comfort of a warm room. Basho seems almost as excited as a child would be on the prospect of stepping into the fresh snow and slipping.
Haiku Stone: The haiku stone stands in the grounds of the Osu Kannon temple, opposite the Main Hall. The stone was put up by local haiku poets in the early 19th c. On the top the words Kasen-zuka are inscribed, because the back of the stone contains a renga in 36 verses by those local poets.
2-21-47 Osu, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken. Tel. (052)231-6525
Osu Kannon Station on the Tsurumai Subway Line (Exit 2).
Antique market every 18th & 28th.