Basho's thoughts on...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story: Basho
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Renku, Haiku, and Tanka
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time for Basho
• Basho Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• 370 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 women,
children, and teenagers

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 his
"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 Prose


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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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:   Saying something  the tree spirits respond in spring breeze  Female mountain spirit disperses in the rapids.     Etsuj ...
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:      ...
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.   Buddha’s Birthday /on this day is born /a baby deer.   灌仏の / 日に生まれあう / 鹿の子哉Kambutsu no ...
B-05

Breastfeeding with Basho First we explore breastfeeding with hope, then breastfeeding without hope; next the relations between breastfeeding, intelligence, and death, and finally woman divers, breast milk, and evolution. A ...
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 Basho is not abstract or philosophical; instead he focuses on the contours of the female body and her sensations as she moves.  (This article has a brother, C-4 - Men Like Sex.)   Hok ...
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 The power to maintain herself, her womanhood, in the face of bullying, abuse, and sexual assault; to sing in harmony with others; to work steadily and consistently, providing for the future. &nbs ...
B-13

Three Haiku Icons of the Feminine From the 60 Basho haiku focusing on women I know,  I have selected three eternal masterpieces of Basho’s “clear respect, affection, and even reverence” for women.  ...
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

Eight Basho Tanka for 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 she puffs the ashfrom broiled miso   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 /nume-mawashiYak ...
B-23


Basho's thoughts on...
• Introduction to this site
• The Human Story: Basho
• Praise for Women
• Love and Sex in Basho
• Children and Teens
• Humanity and Friendship
• On Translating Basho
• Basho Himself
• Renku, Haiku, and Tanka
• The Physical Body
• Food, Drink, and Fire
• Animals in Basho
• Space and Time for Basho
• Basho Letters Year by Year
• Bilingual Basho 日本語も
• 芭蕉について日本語の論文
• 370 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 women,
children, and teenagers

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 his
"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 Prose


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