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haikais, haikaiss
Haikai Japanese 俳諧 comic, unorthodox may refer in both Japanese and English to haikai no renga renku, a popular genre of Japanese linked verse, which developed in the sixteenth century out of the earlier aristocratic renga It meant "vulgar" or "earthy", and often derived its effect from satire and puns, though "under the influence of Matsuo Bashō 1644–1694 the tone of haikai no renga became more serious"1 "Haikai" may also refer to other poetic forms that embrace the haikai aesthetic, including haiku and senryū varieties of one-verse haikai, haiga haikai art, often accompanied by haiku, and haibun haiku mixed with prose, such as in the diaries and travel journals of haiku poets However, haikai does not include orthodox renga or waka23


  • 1 Bashō
  • 2 Bashō Revival
  • 3 Yosa Buson and Masaoka Shiki
  • 4 References


Main article: Matsuo Bashō

Matsuo Bashō is one of the most famous poets of the Edo period and the greatest figure active in Japanese haikai during the latter half of the seventeenth century He made his life’s work the transformation of haikai into a literary genre For Bashō, haikai involved a combination of comic playfulness and spiritual depth, ascetic practice and involvement in human society4 He composed haikai masterpieces in a variety of genres, including renku, haibun, and haiga5 In contrast to the traditional Japanese poetry of his day, Bashō’s haikai treated the ordinary, everyday lives of commoners, portraying figures from popular culture such as the beggar, the traveler and the farmer In crystallizing the newly popular haikai, he played a significant role in giving birth to modern haiku, which reflected the common culturecitation needed

Bashō Revivaledit

A new group of poets emerged in the mid-1700s who "condemned the commercialized practices of contemporary haikai and argued for a return to the ideals of Matsuo Bashō"citation needed The 18th century reform movement, lasting from around the 1730s to the 1790s came to be called the Bashō Revival Prominent poets of this movement included Yosa Buson 1716–1783, Miura Chora 1729–1780, Takai Kitō 1741–1789, and Wada Ranzan d 1773 "Other major 'Back to Bashō' poets were Tan Taigi 炭太祇 1709–1771, Katō Kyōtai 加藤暁台 1732–1792, Chōmu 蝶夢 1732–1795, Kaya Shirao 加舎白雄 1738–1791, and Hori Bakusui 1718-1783 The movement had followers all over the country, due in part to the itinerant habits of many of its members"6 The revival movement members competed with the tentori poets, who neglected the craft of poetry in favor of dazzling readers with wit, "favoring zoku 俗, the mundane or commonplace, over ga 雅, the elegant and refined"7

Yosa Buson and Masaoka Shikiedit

In the late Meiji period, the poet and literary critic Masaoka Shiki 1867–1902 first used the term haiku for the modern, standalone verses of haikai that Bashō had popularized Until then, haiku had been called hokku, a term which refers to the first verse in a renga sequence Shiki also rediscovered Yosa Buson, a prominent "Back to Bashō" poet and painter who died in 1784 Shiki considered Buson a painter in words and a visual poet, and Shiki's writings during the 19th century formed the foundation for the appraisal of Buson’s work in most of the 20th centurycitation needed


  1. ^ The Haiku Society of America "Haikai 1973/1976" "Official Definitions of Haiku and Related Terms" 1973/1976
  2. ^ The Haiku Society of America "Haikai" "Official Definitions of Haiku and Related Terms" 2004
  3. ^ Higginson, William J The Haiku Seasons, Kodansha International, 1996, ISBN 4-7700-1629-8, p9, 19
  4. ^ Barnhill, David Landis Bashō's Haiku: Selected Poems by Matsuo Bashō, State Univ of New York Press, 2004, ISBN 0-7914-6165-3, p279
  5. ^ Kerkham, Eleanor 2006 Matsuo Basho’s Poetic Spaces: Exploring Haikai Intersections Palgrave Macmillan p 268 ISBN 1-4039-7258-3 
  6. ^ Crowley, Cheryl "Collaboration in the 'Back to Bashō' Movement: The Susuki Mitsu Sequence of Buson's Yahantei School," Early Modern Japan, Fall 2003, page 5
  7. ^ Crowley, Cheryl A 2007 Japanese Studies Library, Volume 27: Haikai Poet Yosa Buson and the Basho Revival Brill Academic Publishers p 310 ISBN 978-90-04-15709-5 

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