Matsuo Bashō was one of the greatest poets of Japan, a master of haiku, equally appreciated by Japanese as well as foreigners. There are several monuments in Japan related to the poet, in Iga Province, where he was born and also in Gichu-ji, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, where the tomb is located.
One of the places where the poet’s memory is strongly preserved today is in Fukagawa, a shitamachi area on the eastern banks of the Sumida River. The presence of Matsuo Bashō is so strongly marked in Fukagawa, that you may be inclined to believe that the poet lived here his entire life.
Actually, Bashō lived here only 9 years, between 1680 and 1689, but this period marks several important moments in his life. The statue from this photo, near the Umibe-bashi Bridge, marks the place from where Matsuo Bashō started in 1689 his journey to the Northern Honshū, a journey to “renew his own art” by visiting the places described by the old poets. His travels are described in his work Oku no Hosomichi, “The Narrow Road to the Interior".
Matsuo Basho Statue, Fukagawa, Tokyo
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: Mount Fuji at dusk