This month at Carpe Diem I’m exploring the “Motherland” of haiku, Japan.
Today we are taking a look Matto – Birthplace of Chiyo-Ni
Matto, is a village in Kaga Province, now Hakusan Ishikawa Prefecture Japan.
Photo Credit Hakusan city office
Matto also is known as the city that never sleeps, unfortunately, doesn’t exist anymore because in 2005 it became part of the new town Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture.
The modern city of Hakusan was established on February 1, 2005, from the merger of the city of Matto, and the towns of Mikawa and Tsurugi, and the villages Kawachi, Oguchi, Shiramine, Torigoe and Yoshinodani (all from Ishikawa District).
Eleven cities are located in Ishikawa Prefecture.
Who is Chiyo-Ni?
Fukuda Chiyo-ni 1703 – 2 October 1775) Born in Matto, she was a Japanese Poet of the Edo period, widely regarded as one of the greatest female haiku poets.
Chiyo-ni began writing haiku poetry at age 7.
By the age of 17, she had become very popular all over Japan for her poetry.
Photo Credit – Chiyo-ni standing beside a well. This woodcut by Utagawa Kuniyoshi illustrates her most famous haiku: finding a bucket entangled in the vines of a morning glory, she will go ask for water rather than disturb the flower.
Her poems, although mostly dealing with nature, work for a unity of nature with humanity.
She is perhaps best known for the haiku below
the well bucket-entangled,
I ask for water
Today, the morning glory is a favorite flower for the people of her hometown, because she left a number of poems on that flower.
If you would like to read more of her poems Click here.
Chiyo-ni’s teachers were the students of Basho, and she stayed true to his style, although she did develop on her own as an independent figure.
After becoming a nun, Chiyo took the Buddhist name, Soen.
My tanka poem using prompt of the study of Matto – a village in Kaga Province, now Hakusan Ishikawa Prefecture.
new name old name still the same
beauty never leaves
breaking away from old poets
new poets writing haiku