Yosa no Buson

Hear about Yosa no Buson on Episode 14A, 39 and 45 of our Podcast, the Japan Archives.

Yosa no Buson
Yosa no Buson.

Yosa no Buson

Yosa no Buson (与謝 蕪村) was an Edo Period poet who lived from 1716 to 1783. He was known for both Haiku as well as Haishi (free form poetry using both Japanese and Chinese).

In total we know of around 2800 poems by this man.

After his death we know that his disciple Kito assembled a collection of his masters haiku to covey the spirit of his art. He the went with a man known as Kato to publish this at Buson’s first memorial to show their devotion to him. In total two volumes were eventually made, the second to commemorate for his 3rd memorial.

However it went against Buson’s wishes, and he is known to have said:

‘A collection of my haiku wont be needed; quite often the publication of a celebrated poet’s work often reduces his fame and reputation. Wouldn’t it be worse for someone who is just among the ordinary?1


1. Merwin, W.S. & Lento, T. (2013) “Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson”. Washington: Copper Canyon Press.

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