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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Haiku poems by Edo master discovered in Nagano

Photo: Part of Edo period poet Issa Kobayashi's "Rokuban Nikki" containing two newly found haiku. (Mainichi)

Two previously undiscovered haiku poems by renowned Edo Period master Issa Kobayashi (1763-1827) have been found in Nagano Prefecture.

The two poems were found on a hanging scroll of journal entries and haiku now held by the Issa Memorial Museum in Issa's home town of Shinano, Nagano Prefecture, and were identified as being written by Issa himself.

According to the museum, the two poems were from Issa's "Rokuban Nikki," or "Number Six Journal," taking up two pages and dated April 2, 1808. They read:

Insects of the leaf / Change and fly / Morning moon

Wings grow / And the insect flies / Toad

It is thought that the poems were inspired by the fictional beautiful woman who appears in the poem "Tamamo no Mae," in an Edo period collection of classical Japanese poetry.

The scroll with the two Issa haiku was held by a Nagano antique shop until it was brought to the museum, and Katsuyuki Yaba, an Issa Kobayashi researcher and professor of haiku at Nishogakusha University identified it as "Rokuban Nikkan," noting a hole punched into the paper to make it onto a booklet similar to holes in other pages of the "Rokuban Nikki."

The pages also contain haiku by other poets, and comments on the early Edo period poet Basho Matsuo and the Analects of Confucius.

Some 20,000 of Issa's haiku have been discovered. The "Rokuban Nikki" was written around 1808-1810, in between "Bunka Kujo" (1804-1808) and "Nanaban Nikki" (1810-1818). Both "Bunka Kujo" and "Nanaban Nikki" are entirely extant in their entirety, but the pages of the "Rokuban Nikki" are scattered throughout the country.

"The existence of the 'Rokuban Nikki" has more or less been proven," says Yaba. "This is material with real historical significance."

The hanging scroll with the newfound haiku will be on display at the Issa Memorial Museum starting April 24.

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1 comment:

Dream Analysis said...

I love haiku poems !

Short and to the point :)