Basho's thoughts on...
• Women in Basho
• 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
• 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

 



Home  >  Topics  > 


Praise for Women

Ancient Greek literature praises Penelope and Antigone, Shakespeare praises Juliet, Rosalind, and Emilia, but Basho praises the ordinary woman living her everyday life in more than 200 poems.  I believe he learned the nature of female life and consciousness from watching his mother and four sisters.


Basho’s Appreciation for Women  “Basho shows an appreciation for women far beyond what we have been led to expect from a Japanese man of this era”  said Bronagh, my research assistant from Ireland.   ...
B-01

Woman with Goddess Basho worships the divine female in nature:   As I speak   the tree spirits echoin spring breeze  Form of mountain goddess disperses in the rapids.     Another ...
B-02

Mothers Giving birth to love in the world, she adorns herself.     Basho sees a woman make herself beautiful while she gives birth.  Women  affirming life:      T ...
B-03

Brides, Wives, Widows Ordinary women hopeful or disappointed, women at work, washing hair, with their peers chatting or complaining, women neglected or abandoned, widows living alone with memories.   Basho never ...
B-04

Pregnancy to Birth Yes,  Basho did write about such feminine topics: in this haiku, non-human birth while in many renku he explores human birth.   Buddha’s Birthday on this day is born a ...
B-05

Breastfeeding with Basho Ten poems on breastfeeding written 320 to 350 years ago by the Japanese male poet Basho are a vital  legacy to inspire women breastfeeding today and envigorate the breastfeeding movement.  M ...
B-06

Women at Work Wrapping rice cake/with one hand she tucks/hair behind ear.   粽 ゆう/片手にはさむ/額 髪 Chimaki yuu/kata-te ni hasamu/hitai-gami   ‘Rice cake’ can be rice pounded into a paste then mo ...
B-07

The Sensual Female Basho         Rarely is Basho is abstract or philosophical; instead his usual focus is on the physical and sensory; in this article, we follow him exploring the contours of the ...
B-08

Rice Maidens Rice, cultivated in Japan for 2000 years, grows over much flat land and extends on terraces into the hills. In Asian cultures, rice is strongly associated with women, fertility, and nurturing children ...
B-09

In the Mirror A mirror was associated with the Sun-Goddess; being round and shiny, a “child of the sun”; the soul originally clear as a mirror; sins like dust easily wiped off to restore purity. ...
B-10

She Walks in Beauty We meet the famous beauties of ancient China and Japan, and learn the tragic ends their beauty brought them. First, however, explore six Basho visions of the beauty of woman’s face and form. ...
B-11

Oppression of Women Basho's renku, or  linked verses, about the oppression of women in this article, as well as those empowering women in article B-13, reveal a feminism in Basho within his misogynistic society. ...
B-12

Empowering Women Can women today be empowered by  poems written in a different language by a man 330~350 years ago in a  patriarchal society? Basho never shows us women lifting heavy loads, fighting fer ...
B-13

Female Icons in Four Seasons The 200 woman-centered poems by Basho are a priceless cultural legacy. Nowhere else in world literature written by men can we find so much praise for the life and consciousness of ordinary w ...
B-14

Six Renku Icons of the Feminine  Basho said that his followers wrote haiku equal to his, but could not reach the depths he discovered in renku. Here are six superb examples of those depths he found in women and girls. ...
B-15

Tanka Visions of Women People who know Basho believe he wrote no tanka (poems in 31 sound-units) because they have never seen one in Japanese or translation, however  two Basho tanka appear among works never translated ...
B-16

Supernatural Women  Two legends about women told by Hearn in his collection of supernatural tales Kwaidan may relate to particular Basho verses. The Legend of Uba-zakura, the Wet-Nurse’s Cherry Tree ...
B-17

Jutei: Here we meet, obscurely, the mystery woman in Basho’s life. Who was she? Why did Basho care about her?  So little evidence exists, yet all sorts of presumptuous theories have arisen. Each s ...
B-18

Murasaki to Basho Come explore the Energy between the Tale of Genji - world’s first novel and until recently,the longest - and Basho more than five centuries later:   men, women, and children interacti ...
B-19

Shonagon to Basho One thousand years ago, two women in Kyoto  – Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon – produced two of the greatest works of world literature, The Tale of Genji and the Pillow Book. In thi ...
B-20

Diving into Humanity Child of a woman diverbreastfeeds on the boat     Here is a unusual bit of Basho renku; it does not appear in the BRZ, or Complete Basho Renku anthology, however it is found in a scholarl ...
B-21

Mother Daughter Bond Basho grew up watching his four sisters (one older and 3 younger) interact with their mother.  Through these four Mother/Daughter poems by Basho,  modern mothers and daughters can explo ...
B-22

Her Life-Breath: Glaring about,she orders the childrento “behave!” While roasting balls of miso some ash she puffs away   行儀能 /せよと子供を/ぬめ廻し やき味噌の灰 /吹きはらいつつ   Gyougi you /se yo to kodomo o / ...
B-23

Solidarity Between Women in Works of Basho (Prototype of an article on Solidarity between Women in the works of Basho)   Uko, a woman married to a doctor, and Chigetsu, widow of a samarai official, were Basho followers living in se ...
B-24

Resources for Empowering Women and Girls Giving birth tolove in the world, sheadorns herself   Basho actually wrote about makeup, dress, and hair, about female beauty and mirrors enabling such beauty, about breastfeeding and lit ...
B-25


Basho's thoughts on...
• Women in Basho
• 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
• 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