Basho's thoughts on...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story:
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Poetry and Music
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time
• Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• Basho Renku, 芭蕉連句
• Women in Basho
• BAMHAY (Basho Amazes Me! How About You?)
• New Articles


Matsuo Basho 1644~1694

The only substantial
collection in English
of Basho's renku, tanka,
letters and spoken word
along with his haiku, travel
journals, and essays.

The only poet in old-time
literature who paid attention with praise
to ordinary women, children, and teenagers
in hundreds of poems

Hundreds upon hundreds of Basho works
(mostly renku)about women, children,
teenagers, friendship, compassion, love.

These are resources we can use to better
understand ourselves and humanity.

Interesting and heartfelt
(not scholarly and boring)
for anyone concerned with
humanity.


“An astonishing range of
social subject matter and
compassionate intuition”


"The primordial power
of the feminine emanating
from Basho's poetry"


Hopeful, life-affirming
messages from one of
the greatest minds ever.

Through his letters,
we travel through his mind
and discover Basho's
gentleness and humanity.

I plead for your help in
finding a person or group
to take over my 3000 pages of Basho material,
to edit and improve the material, to receive 100%
of royalties, to spread Basho’s wisdom worldwide
and preserve for future generations.

Quotations from Basho Prose


The days and months are
guests passing through eternity.
The years that go by
also are travelers.



The mountains in silence
nurture the spirit;
the water with movement
calms the emotions.


All the more joyful,
all the more caring


Seek not the traces
of the ancients;
seek rather the
places they sought.



Basho Spoken Word


Only this, apply your heart
to what children do


"The attachment to Oldness
is the very worst disease
a poet can have."


“The skillful have a disease;
let a three-foot child
get the poem"


"Be sick and tired
of yesterday’s self."


"This is the path of a fresh
lively taste with aliveness
in both heart and words."
.

"In poetry is a realm
which cannot be taught.
You must pass through it
yourself. Some poets have made
no effort to pass through, merely
counting things and trying
to remember them.
There was no passing
through the things."


"In verses of other poets,
there is too much making
and the heart’s
immediacy is lost.
What is made from
the heart is good;
the product of words
shall not be preferred."


"We can live without poetry,
yet without harmonizing
with the world’s feeling
and passing not through
human feeling, a person
cannot be fulfilled. Also,
without good friends,
this would be difficult."


"Poetry benefits
from the realization
of ordinary words."


"Many of my followers
write haiku equal to mine,
however in renku is the
bone marrow of this old man."


"Your following stanza
should suit the previous one as an expression
of the same heart's connection."


"Link verses the way
children play."


"Make renku
ride the Energy.
Get the timing wrong,
you ruin the rhythm."


"The physical form
first of all must be graceful
then a musical quality
makes a superior verse."

"As the years passed
by to half a century.
asleep I hovered
among morning clouds
and evening dusk,
awake I was astonished
at the voices of mountain
streams and wild birds."


“These flies sure enjoy
having an unexpected
sick person.”



Haiku of Humanity


Drunk on sake
woman wearing haori
puts in a sword


Night in spring
one hidden in mystery
temple corner


Wrapping rice cake
with one hands she tucks
hair behind ear


On Life's journey
plowing a small field
going and returning


Child of poverty
hulling rice, pauses to
look at the moon


Tone so clear
the Big Dipper resounds
her mallet


Huddling
under the futon, cold
horrible night


Jar cracks
with the ice at night
awakening



Basho Renku
Masterpieces

With her needle
in autumn she manages
to make ends meet
Daughter playing koto
reaches age seven


After the years
of grieving. . . finally
past eighteen
Day and night dreams of
Father in that battle


Now to this brothel
my body has been sold
Can I trust you
with a letter I wrote,
mirror polisher?


Only my face
by rice-seedling mud
is not soiled
Breastfeeding on my lap
what dreams do you see?



Single renku stanzas


Giving birth to
love in the world, she
adorns herself



Autumn wind
saying not a word
child in tears


Among women
one allowed to lead
them in chorus


Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow


Two death poems:


On a journey taken ill
dreams on withered fields
wander about

Clear cascade -
into the ripples fall
green pine needles




basho4humanity
@gmail.com




Plea for Affiliation

 

Plea For Affiliation

 

I pray for your help

in finding someone
individual, university,

or foundation - 
to take over my

3000 pages of material,   
to cooperate with me 

to edit the material,
to receive all royalties 

from sales, to spread

Basho’s wisdom worldwide,
and preserve for

future generations.


basho4humanity

@gmail.com

 



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BAMHAY (Basho Amazes Me! How About You?)

Basho works which totally knock it out of the ballpark, defying all our notions of 17th century Japanese thought:  BAMHAY!!  


After Having Measles In 1691, with no scientific education, Basho recognizes the essence of immunology: measles leaves “traces” (i.e. lymphocytes) which prevent this disease from occurring again in this body. ...
M-01

Sake and Breasts Here is a Basho renku about two very popular elements of culture: rice wine and and woman's breasts. How did Basho 330 years ago put these two elements together to please us?   &nb ...
M-02

Breastfeeding on my lap In 1692, 100 years before feminism began in Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication for the Rights of Women, Basho in his patriarchal society produced this exquisitely feminist poem:  ...
M-03

One Soft Chubby Tush Basho actually wrote a fun-filled renku stanza about a baby’s rear end -- probably the only such verse in world literature.  BAMHAY!  Basho Amazes Me!  How About You? . . .  ...
M-04

Basho on Sexual Passion: Confucius said : “When young, do not let your future be decided by hot blood”  and here Basho shows us his awareness of consequens of young people followiing their desires. ...
M-05

Engulfed by Passion You may think Basho only writes about impersonal nature scenes or lonely desolation, but here is a stanza-pair overflowing with male violence and passion driven by betrayel and testesterone.  ...
M-06

Two Basho Renku on Make-Up and Dress: It amazes me that Basho – unlike any male author in world literature – paid so much attention to the feminine pursuits of make-up and clothing. How about you? Winter solstice on porchmy ...
M-07

Basho's Mona Lisa: 1)  Simple observation: no abstractions or judgements  2) Focus on a women. 3)  Specific body parts 4)  Lively active verbs specify physical actions:     ...
M-08

Mother and Daughter IV In a single renku link, Basho brings together the power in a woman's hair, her power workng for her family, and her succession of light and power to her daughters..........   By ...
M-09

She Adorns Herself Basho, more than any poet in World Literature, expresses the power of the female to give life  as in this renku of 1683 where his second stanza fulfills the first stanza by another poet:   ...
M-10

Follow the Drinking Gourd Tone so clear the Big Dipper resounds her mallet   Before cotton entered Japan in the 16th century, and then where cotton was unavailable, villagers (i.e. women) made their family’s cloth ...
M-11

To a Newborn Baby Girl: In the spring of 1690, Basho was asked to name a newborn girl; he called her “Kasane” which means "to pile up in layers" or "to occur again and again, in succession." and wrote this t ...
M-12

Mother and Daughter I: Basho weaves together the themes of poverty, being a single mother, music, and hope in this masterpiece of renku anthropology. Another poet begins and Basho follows:    With her needle in ...
M-13

Mother and Daughter II A scholar who knows not Basho's renku, claims that Basho was “at times, cold-hearted, inhuman” – however the renku unknown to him contain much itawaru, caring for others.& ...
M-14

The Eternal Mother The link – thoughts taking us – from first stanza to Basho’s reveals the vastness of his genius. Only Basho creates a link such as this, so personal and bodily yet so full of heart:& ...
M-15

Can I Trust You? Most “play-women” in this era were young village girls indentured to a brothel to save the family from financial ruin. Brokers went to areas struck by famine, searching for “bargains ...
M-16

Death of Father Written in 1687, can this stanza-pair reach the heart of one – girl or boy – whose parent died in war, terrorism, or police brutality.  Another poet begins and Basho follows:  ...
M-17

Empowered by Song One of Basho's most empowering renku links is:  Her semblance of power pebbles thrown in vain  Among women one allowed to lead them in chorus    His boat h ...
M-18

Tigress at Daybreak The "tigress" in this Basho renku may be animal or human. Daybreak is the Sun-Goddess giving birth to the day and maybe to life in tigress’ belly. Basho pays attention to the female. . . ...
M-19

Love poem by Basho The boss pretendsnot to see their loveyet he knows Figures half-hiddenbehind the umbrella   Walking together in town, the lovers are surprised to see her (or their) boss coming the other ...
M-20

Haiku and a Child's Face Basho wrote these two stanzas together in 1688: Before my eyesthe scene just as ismakes a haiku -- As a child turns sevenface becomes clear   Me no mae no / keshiki sono mama /shi ni tsukuru ...
M-21

Fear and Sexual Assault: In 1688 another poet and Basho wrote this renku stanza-pair: Not getting upI recognize his smelland am afraid Wiping the sweat fromsidelocks in disarray   As he enters the room, she recogni ...
M-22

Mother and Daughter III In 1690 Kyokusui begins and Basho follows: From slender threadslove gets so intense! Though my thoughtsare of love, “eat something!”she commands me   Love starts out simple but ...
M-23

Boy's Mischief Knocking on back doorand running away home She cries and crieswith never a conclusionto her hiccups   妻戸たたきて / 逃げて 帰りぬ泣く泣くて /しゃくりのとまる / 果て も なし   Tsumado tatakite / nigete kaerinuNaku n ...
M-24

Young and Helpless Young and helplesswith bow and arrows,the boy kneels White hair seen throughgaps in bamboo blind   The newest student at an archery dojo kneels on the floor, feeling small and weak. To this we ...
M-25

Woman in the Center Absurdly long sword /hangs from his waistEvening dusk /startled by a frog /in thick grass To pick buds of coltsfoot / lantern shaken goes out   Kyorai begins this trio with a man and his pha ...
M-26

Energy From Basho The 17th century Japanese poet Basho was a master of renku, poetry composed by a group of poets, each  writing a stanza linked to the stanza by another; he told his follower D ...
M-27

The Night Before a Battle In the cold windat sunset, long drawn-outcries of hawks Foretell the heads to fallin tomorrow’s battle   Kaze samuki yuuhi ni /kari no koe hikiteIkusa ni asu no / kubi o uranau   ...
M-28

Cat Sex She resents the snarlingcries of cats fighting High on top,low on bottom, howlove is done   Cats and humans do it the same way: as a struggle for dominance and being on top. Not only in sex ...
M-29

Love in One Basho Renku A single renku stanza, without the baggage of the previous stanza or the very different baggage of the following stanza, can apply to a wide range of circumstances: For instance, this stanza ...
M-30

Are You Stoned? Evening dusk, going back for the pipehe left behind Rice maidens for fun throw mud at eachother   A traveler took a break to sit and smoke his pipe; the verse does not say what he was s ...
M-31

Beating Down Women and Girls Feminist Tokuza Akiko says that in Basho’s time and society, “criticism of women’s intelligence, autonomy, and moral worth (was) essential to the total subordination of women tha ...
M-32

Fickle one! Boncho begins,  Basho takes the middle, and Kyorai concludes:  His carriage pulls inthe neighbor’s gateway “Fickle one,under hedge of spikesyou must crawl!” Now, before ...
M-33

Basho's Most Erotic Haiku On his journey to the Deep North, he is in Obanazawa, a town famous for growing safflowers and producing the orange-red dye used in make-up and to color a woman's under-kimono. A red und ...
M-34

Sword Drawn in a Flash Dew for his opponentsword drawn in a flash Town notablestogether getting drunkunder blossoms   Basho uses the word iai for a practitioner of the martial art we now call iaido, the art of ...
M-35

A Mole on her Face Youngest daughter hatesthe mole on her face Robe for dancingaimlessly she folds itinside the box   The mole does not interfere with her intelligence or motor ability, but everyone who mee ...
M-36

Basho and Taima Basho begins and Kikaku follows:   Miracles fromofferings to the Goddessshining on blossoms Bird of good fortunebuilds her nest with hemp   Basho sees the Sun Goddess Amaterasu in sunli ...
M-37

Misogyny and Menstruation in Basho Renku Here in 1679 Basho begins and another poet follows: “Weak as green willow” the wife is despised - ‘Path of blood’her day by day miseryin the spring rain   Willow br ...
M-38

Penis Recalls Umbilicus Basho totally astounds me with this renku stanza, and another poet does a good job following:   Like his navel cordhis visits to the Yoshiwarashall be cut off He resents the thunderof the midn ...
M-39

Tuberculosis Millions throughout time have suffered and died from tuberculosis whose classic symptoms are a chronic cough with blood-containing sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. The term "con ...
M-40


Basho's thoughts on...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story:
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Poetry and Music
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time
• Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• Basho Renku, 芭蕉連句
• Women in Basho
• BAMHAY (Basho Amazes Me! How About You?)
• New Articles


Matsuo Basho 1644~1694

The only substantial
collection in English
of Basho's renku, tanka,
letters and spoken word
along with his haiku, travel
journals, and essays.

The only poet in old-time
literature who paid attention with praise
to ordinary women, children, and teenagers
in hundreds of poems

Hundreds upon hundreds of Basho works
(mostly renku)about women, children,
teenagers, friendship, compassion, love.

These are resources we can use to better
understand ourselves and humanity.

Interesting and heartfelt
(not scholarly and boring)
for anyone concerned with
humanity.


“An astonishing range of
social subject matter and
compassionate intuition”


"The primordial power
of the feminine emanating
from Basho's poetry"


Hopeful, life-affirming
messages from one of
the greatest minds ever.

Through his letters,
we travel through his mind
and discover Basho's
gentleness and humanity.

I plead for your help in
finding a person or group
to take over my 3000 pages of Basho material,
to edit and improve the material, to receive 100%
of royalties, to spread Basho’s wisdom worldwide
and preserve for future generations.

Quotations from Basho Prose


The days and months are
guests passing through eternity.
The years that go by
also are travelers.



The mountains in silence
nurture the spirit;
the water with movement
calms the emotions.


All the more joyful,
all the more caring


Seek not the traces
of the ancients;
seek rather the
places they sought.



Basho Spoken Word


Only this, apply your heart
to what children do


"The attachment to Oldness
is the very worst disease
a poet can have."


“The skillful have a disease;
let a three-foot child
get the poem"


"Be sick and tired
of yesterday’s self."


"This is the path of a fresh
lively taste with aliveness
in both heart and words."
.

"In poetry is a realm
which cannot be taught.
You must pass through it
yourself. Some poets have made
no effort to pass through, merely
counting things and trying
to remember them.
There was no passing
through the things."


"In verses of other poets,
there is too much making
and the heart’s
immediacy is lost.
What is made from
the heart is good;
the product of words
shall not be preferred."


"We can live without poetry,
yet without harmonizing
with the world’s feeling
and passing not through
human feeling, a person
cannot be fulfilled. Also,
without good friends,
this would be difficult."


"Poetry benefits
from the realization
of ordinary words."


"Many of my followers
write haiku equal to mine,
however in renku is the
bone marrow of this old man."


"Your following stanza
should suit the previous one as an expression
of the same heart's connection."


"Link verses the way
children play."


"Make renku
ride the Energy.
Get the timing wrong,
you ruin the rhythm."


"The physical form
first of all must be graceful
then a musical quality
makes a superior verse."

"As the years passed
by to half a century.
asleep I hovered
among morning clouds
and evening dusk,
awake I was astonished
at the voices of mountain
streams and wild birds."


“These flies sure enjoy
having an unexpected
sick person.”



Haiku of Humanity


Drunk on sake
woman wearing haori
puts in a sword


Night in spring
one hidden in mystery
temple corner


Wrapping rice cake
with one hands she tucks
hair behind ear


On Life's journey
plowing a small field
going and returning


Child of poverty
hulling rice, pauses to
look at the moon


Tone so clear
the Big Dipper resounds
her mallet


Huddling
under the futon, cold
horrible night


Jar cracks
with the ice at night
awakening



Basho Renku
Masterpieces

With her needle
in autumn she manages
to make ends meet
Daughter playing koto
reaches age seven


After the years
of grieving. . . finally
past eighteen
Day and night dreams of
Father in that battle


Now to this brothel
my body has been sold
Can I trust you
with a letter I wrote,
mirror polisher?


Only my face
by rice-seedling mud
is not soiled
Breastfeeding on my lap
what dreams do you see?



Single renku stanzas


Giving birth to
love in the world, she
adorns herself



Autumn wind
saying not a word
child in tears


Among women
one allowed to lead
them in chorus


Easing in
her slender forearm
for his pillow


Two death poems:


On a journey taken ill
dreams on withered fields
wander about

Clear cascade -
into the ripples fall
green pine needles




basho4humanity
@gmail.com




Plea for Affiliation

 

Plea For Affiliation

 

I pray for your help

in finding someone
individual, university,

or foundation - 
to take over my

3000 pages of material,   
to cooperate with me 

to edit the material,
to receive all royalties 

from sales, to spread

Basho’s wisdom worldwide,
and preserve for

future generations.


basho4humanity

@gmail.com