Also known as Yosa no Buson (his family name is actually Taniguchi), Yosa Buson was a famous Japanese poet and painter during the Edo period. He, along with Bashō and Issa, are considered the greatest poets during the era. He is also considered one of the four great haiku masters along with Matsuo Bashō, Kobayashi Issa, and Masaoka Shiki.
Buson was born in Kema, Settsu Province (now known as Kema-chō, Miyakojima Ward in the city Osaka). At the age of 20, he moved to Edo (now Tokyo), and learned poetry from the haikai master Hayano Hajin. After Hajin's death, Buson moved to Shimōsa Province (now Ibaraki Prefecture). While there, he followed the famous travel diary of Bashō. He published his notes in 1744 of the trip under the name Buson for the first time.
After his travel through Japan, he settled in the city of Kyoto at age 42. At this time, he began using the name Yosa, which he took from his mother's birthplace of Yosa, Tango.
At the age of 45, he married and had one daughter, Kuno. He remained in Kyoto and continued writing poetry while also teaching it at the Sumiya. In 1770, he began using the pen name Yahantei, meaning Midnight Studio, which was the same as Hajin.
Buson died at the age of 68 and was buried at Konpuku-ji in Kyoto.
Haiku by Buson
- At the over-matured sushi,
- The Master
- Is full of regret.
- Pressing Sushi;
- After a while,
- A lonely feeling
- A whale!
- Down it goes, and more and more
- up goes its tail!
- In nooks and corners
- Cold remains:
- Flowers of the plum