Matsuo Bashō

Bashō Matsuo (1644–1694, real name Munefusa Matsuo) is the most famous haiku author who has developed his own distinctive style and contributed to the popularity of this poetic form.

After the death of the feudal lord he served, Bashō rejected his samurai status and devoted himself to his writing. He became famous not only for his poetry, but also for his prose describing his travels around Japan; the most famous of these is “Oku no hosomichi” (The Narrow Road to the Deep North), a record of Bashō’s journey in 1689. to the north of the island of Honshu.

The poet was also known for a very modest lifestyle, and he borrowed the nom de plume from plane tree: he used its leaves to build his simple hut.

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