This month at Carpe Diem I’m exploring the “Motherland” of haiku, Japan.
Today we are taking a look at Matsuyama City birth-place of Masaoka Shiki.
Photo Credit – Masaoka Shiki.
Masaoka Shiki October 14, 1867 – September 19, 1902), pen-name of Masaoka Noboru.
He was a Japanese poet, author, and literary critic in Meiji period Japan.
Shiki is regarded as a major figure in the development of modern haiku poetry.
He also wrote on reform of tanka poetry.
Some consider Masaoka Shiki to be one of the four great haiku masters, the others being Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, and Kobayashi Issa, which I have written about in the last couple of weeks
Shiki suffered from tuberculosis (TB) much of his life.
In 1888 or 1889 he began coughing up blood and soon adopted the pen-name Shiki from the Japanese hototogisu, which is a word usually translated as cuckoo.
It is a Japanese concept that this bird coughs blood as it sings, which explains why the name “Shiki” was adopted.
He died of Tuberculosis in 1902 at age 34.
Shiki, or rather Tsunenori as he was originally named was born in Matsuyama City in Iyo province (present day Ehime prefecture) it is in northwestern Shikoku, Japan.
The capital is Matsuyama.
Photo Credit – Matsuyama castle
Matsuyama Castle is a flatland-mountain castle that was built in 1603 on Mount Katsuyama, whose height is 132 meters, in Matsuyama city in Ehime Prefecture in Japan
Photo Credit – Matsuyama-Panorama.
A panoramic view of the city from Matsuyama Castle
My tanka poem using the study of Masaoka Shiki as a prompt
modern haiku poems
was masaoka shiki
died very young with tb
its sad nature can be hard
look that bridge is in heaven