Basho-An Fukagawa


Bashō-An, Bashoo-an 芭蕉庵 Basho-An in Fukagawa 深川 


Sekiguchi Bashoan 関口芭蕉庵 Sekiguchi Basho-An

. Sugiyama Sanpu 杉山杉風 (Sampu) .
Sunpu was a wealthy fish wholesaler in Edo.
The wholesale carp business, particularly prosperous at that time, made it possible for him to provide such great support to Matsuo Basho. The Koiya store 鯉屋 maintained a carp farm in Fukagawa. Basho later lived in a remodeled cottage that had previously been the caretaker’s lodge at Koiya’s carp farm.
The cottage was named Basho-an after a basho (banana) tree growing near the cottage, and Basho adopted the same for his pen name.

source : www.bashouan.com

The Basho Museum 芭蕉記念館

Known as the "town of green, water and serenity,"Koto City figured significantly in the life of Matsuo Basho, who left a great contribution to the literature of Japan.

In 1680 Basho left Nihonbashi, in Edo (as Tokyo was then known), to live in a thatched cottage in Fukagawa, some distance away from Nihonbashi the center of the city.

At that time, Fukagawa was a quiet, swampy area, and the Basho (banana) tree planted by one of his disciples grew so luxuriantly that his cottage was known as the "Basho-an", and "Basho" became his pen name.

Living in Fukagawa, or using it as the base for his journeys around Japan, Basho established the present form of the haiku, producing many excellent works by which the haiku, until then regarded primarily as an entertaining pastime, gained acceptance as a major literary genre. It was also in Fukagawa that Basho sat down to write most of his travel journals, including his most famous one, The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

We know that after Basho's death, the Fukagawa "Basho-an" cottage was preserved as a precious historic spot within the site of a samurai residence, but it disappeared at some time in the late 19th century.

After the great tidal wave that swept the area in 1917, a stone frog that Basho is believed to have been fond of during his lifetime was discovered, and in 1921 the Tokyo government designated Tokiwa 1-3 as the historic site of the Basho-an.

However, the designated plot was too small to restore the site to its original condition, and continued efforts were made to procure the surrounding land. Eventually this was accomplished and Koto Ward made the site a historic landmark.

The Basho Museum opened on April 19, 1981. In the garden are a small shrine and pond, and on exhibit are artifacts related to Basho and haiku poetry contributed by such men as Manabe Giju.

The museum also serves as a center for literary research and holds regular haiku meetings, and through such activities contributes to the preservation and advancement of culture.
source : www.kcf.or.jp/basyo

Basho Kinenkan 芭蕉記念館 - Basho Memorial Museum

MORE - hokku by Basho about
. The Great Bridge of Fukagawa 深川大橋 - 新両国橋. Shin Ryogoku-bashi .


source : homepage3.nifty.com/onihei-zue
Basho-An was near the Mannenbashi 万年橋 "Ten Thousand Year Bridge".

Fuji seen through the Mannen bridge at Fukagawa - Hokusai
- LOOK : ja.wikipedia.org/wiki

北斎漫画 芭蕉 -Hokusai Manga, Matsuo Basho


One landmark that draws only a few visitors, but is nonetheless a place of great importance in Edo, is the so-called "banana villa" (Basho-an). It is the home of Matsuo Basho, one of Japan's greatest poets. Matsuo Basho's real name was Matsuo Munefusa. He was born in western Japan, in the town of Ueno, and spent the early years of his life as a teacher of Chinese classics and poetry. However, in 1666 his main student, the son of a leading daimyo, died. Matsuo retiring from teaching and became a semi-reculse, living on an estate in Fukagawa owned by one of his former students. Matsuo planted a large banana tree (basho) in the garden, and as a result, his retreat came to be known as the basho-an (banana villa), and he came to be called Basho no Matsuo (Matsuo, of the banana villa).

Matsuo Basho was one of the greatest haiku poets of his time. His greatest collection of poetry is the book Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road Through the North Country), which he wrote while making a pilgrimage to northern Japan in the later years of his life. Although he died in 1694, his canal-side retreat at the banana villa continues to attract poetry lovers, who come to pay their respects to this remarkable man.
source : edomatsu/fukagawa


bashooha o hashira ni kaken io no tsuki

one banana leaf
placed on the pillar -
the moon above my hut 

Matsuo Basho, age 49

After he had come back from three years travellng, his friends had set him up again at Bashoan 芭蕉庵, the Banana Hut at Fukagawa, Edo.
His discipled had take off one leaf and written eight haiku on its backside. This was placed on one of the pillars.
From his hut, Basho enjoyed to watch the autumn moon.

In the accompanying text, Basho compares himself to two Chinese sages, who also enjoyed the banana plant leaves:
Zhang Hengqu (1020-1077) and Huaisu (725-785).

"The monk Huaisu ran his brush along it;
Zhang Hengshu gained strength for his studies just by gazing upon the emerging leaves."

bashoo nowaki shite tarai ni ame o kiku yo kana

MORE - about Basho-An, the Hermitage of
. Matsuo Basho .  


. hokku nari Matsuo Toosei yado no haru .

this is a hokku -
Matsuo Tosei's
home on New Year

Tr. Gabi Greve

Matsuo later changed his name from Tosei "Green peach" to Basho (Banana).
1679 延宝7年, Basho age 36
On the first morning of the New Year.
In 1678 延宝6年 he had put up his "shop sign" Tosei and become a professional Haikai Master 俳諧宗匠.
This hokku shows his strong self-confidence in his new profession.

. WKD : "spring in this lodge", yado no haru 宿の春 .
Kigo for the New Year


bashoo uete mazu nikumu ogi no futaba kana

we planted the banana tree
but now I hate the first sprouts
of the ogi reeds . . .

Tr. Gabi Greve

. Planting the first banana tree with his disciple Rika 李下 .


hatsu yuki ya saiwai an ni makariaru

first snow -
I am lucky to be here
in my own hut

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written on the 18th day of the 12th lunar month 1686
貞亨3年12月18日, Basho age 43

This day was also considered as the 31st day of the 1st month
Other sources place it on the ninth day of the 12th lunar month. 12月9日

On that day he wrote about the first narcissus.

. hatsu-yuki ya suisen no ha no tawamu made .

Basho was fond of "first snow" and made some trips to friends when he heard the good news. Now finally it has started snowing on his own home and he is happy to be there.

makari aru 罷りある an emphatic verbal prefix
shows his great joy about the snow.


source :www.komonjyo.net

I got some rice from friends.

yo no naka wa ine karu koro ka kusa no io

in the world it is now time
to harvest rice -
my thatched hermitage

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written around 貞亨年間, Basho age 41 - 44

The hut refers most probably to his second Basho-An in Fukagawa.
Someone of his disciples had brought him newly harvested rice to support his poor life.
Basho leads the life of an intonsha 隠遁者 a recluse and makes fun of his lifestyle.

. WKD : The Japanese Rice Culture - .


Basho-An 芭蕉庵 in Sekiguchi, Edo

Basho's Hut on Camellia Hill beside the Aquaduct at Sekiguchi
Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858) - One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. #40.

MORE in the WKD :
. Basho-An 芭蕉庵 in Fukagawa, Edo .


深川の芭蕉庵 - Image of the "Frog Stone"

- reference : fusimiin/basyo/fuka10

Sekiguchi Bashoan 関口芭蕉庵 Sekiguchi Basho-An
now in Bunkyo ward 文京区関口2-11-3。
- reference : basyo/sekiguti10

Basho lived for about three or four years in the Sekuguchi Basho-An, where clear spring water comes out of the back mountains. This clear water is said to be the inspiration for the "sound of water".
This home was lost due to a fire.
The dates vary, it seems he started living in Sekiguchi from 1677 till 1681 (from about age 34 to 38), while he was involved with the work of the water supply system of the Kanda waterway 神田上水.
The place was called Ryuuge-an 龍隠庵 Ryuge-An "Dragon Sanctuary", the dragon being the deity of water.

Later in 1726, the place was re-named after Matsuo Basho, and called Sekiguchi Basho-An. Now there is a traditional Japanese garden to enjoy.

source : ukiyo-e.org/image
by Ogata Gekko - British Museum

Where ‘Green Peach’ blossomed
Down by the Kanda riverside in the footsteps of Basho
(the print is missing)
The woodcut print shown here depicts a rural idyll northwest of Edo.
A meandering river nourishes an expanse of rice paddies on the left-hand side. Two men are crossing a bridge, and more people are walking by the riverside. On the rising ground behind them, a cluster of thatched houses identified as “Ryuge-an (Dragon’s Retreat)” nestles amid pine trees.

To the left, there is a shrine dedicated to the god of water, while on the upper right there are a few more huts, labeled “Basho-do (Hall of Basho)” and “Samidare-zuka (May-rain Stone).”

The river is the Kanda, an important drinking-water resource for the citizens of Edo, whose source is Inokashira Pond in Mitaka, western Tokyo. In another 1830s’ rendition of the area, the same artist, Hasegawa Settan 長谷川雪旦, depicts a large stone dam, where the river water used to enter a canal that ran about 5 km to the city’s northern border.
Hence the area was named Sekiguchi, meaning “the mouth of the dam.”

Haiku poet Matsuo Basho was employed in the maintenance of this canal for four years, from 1677 to 1680. Born in 1644 in the province of Iga (present-day Mie Prefecture), he began to write the 17-syllable verse, then called, haikai, characterized by humor and allusions to classical literature. His pen name in those days was Tosei, meaning “Green Peach.”

Having moved to Edo in 1672, Basho lived in Nihonbashi and devoted himself to establishing haikai as a true art form. As a newcomer to the bustling new capital of Japan, he was eking out a precarious living, aided by patrons who admired his poetry.

Apparently he liked working in the farming countryside of Sekiguchi, where he enjoyed the views of rice paddies brimming with water from the Kanda. At Ryuge-an, a respected Zen monk called Sei’ei lived in a hermitage, and Tosei often visited him there to engage in long, heart-to-heart conversations.

In 1680 he moved to Fukagawa on the forlorn eastern bank of the Sumida River. He so loved an exotic banana tree, or basho, planted by a disciple outside his riverside abode there that he changed his pen name to Basho.
Still later, in 1744, a hall — the Basho-do in the woodcut print — was dedicated to a wooden statue of Basho. Now, both the memorial stone and the hall are in the Sekiguchi Basho-an. Four statues of his famous disciples — Kikaku, Ransetsu, Kyorai and Joso — are also enshrined there.
source : Japan Times, 2002 - by Sumiko Enbutsu

. Basho working for the waterworks department of the Edo .

. Tamagawa Joosui 多摩川上水 Tamagawa Josui Kanal .

Extensive Japanese Reference : source : itoyo/basho


MORE - hokku by Basho about
. an 庵 hermitage, thatched hut / yado 宿 my home .

. awa hie ni toboshiku mo arazu kusa no io .
foxtail and barn millet at this thatched hut

kitsutsuki mo io wa yaburazu natsu kodachi

kono yado wa kuina mo shiranu toboso kana

kutabirete yado karu koro ya fuji no hana

nani kuute ko-ie wa aki no yanagi kana

. Saigyō no iori mo aran hana no niwa .
Basho and Saigyo 芭蕉 - 西行

. kakurega ya tsuki to kiku to ni ta san tan .


Fukagawa Happin 深川八貧 "Eight Beggars of Fukagawa"

source : kanpane.blog.so-net

Matsuo Basho himself and seven more

Deikin 泥芹, Isui 依水, . - Yasomura Rotsuu 八十村路通 Rotsu - . , Sora 曾良, Taisui 苔水 / 岱水, Yuugo 友五 Yugo and Yuugiku 夕菊 Yugiku (Sekikiku 石菊) .

Their meetings were those of intimate friends, called
kanboo no majiwari 管鮑の交わり the friendship between the Chinese poets Guan and Bao.
Kanchuu 管仲 and Hoo Shukuka ka 鮑叔牙

For their haikai meeting in 1688, Basho wrote

. kome kai ni yuki no fukuro ya nagezukin .

source : www.bashouan.com

With a reference to the Chinese poet
. Du Fu 杜甫 To Ho .
and his meetings with poor friends 「貧交行」.

- source : hinkookau 貧交行

- - - - -

Taisui 苔水 / 岱水
He lived close to Basho in Fukagawa.

He compiled the collection Kiso no Kei 木曽の谿 "The Ravine of Kiso".
Once in his estate, a kagemachi party (岱水亭影待) was held and Basho wrote

雨折々思ふことなき早苗哉 - ame ori ori omou koto naki sanae kana
影待や菊の香のする豆腐串 - kagemachi ya kiku no ka no suru toofugushi

- - - - -

Honma Yuugo 本間友五 Honma Yugo
Son of doctor Honma Michietsu 本間通悦 from Hitachi Itako 常陸潮来.


Edo and Water Transport
by His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan
March 17, 2006 in Mexico

In establishing the Shogunate, Ieyasu embarked on a project to protect Edo from water hazards. In those days there were two rivers flowing through Edo, the larger of which was the Tonegawa, and the other the Arakawa, which was notorious for breaking its banks and overflowing. Nearby inhabitants thus were often exposed to the danger of flooding. Ieyasu diverted the Tonegawa in stages towards the east, separating it from the Arakawa to protect Edo from floods (fig-2). As a result of this initiative the Tonegawa now flows directly to the Pacific Ocean rather than into Tokyo Bay as it originally did. This was called “Tosen”, or the Eastward Relocation of the Tonegawa.

. Minuma Water Deity 見沼 and Edo .


Nearby is the

. Basho Inari Jinja 芭蕉稲荷神社 Basho Fox Shrine .
Tokiwa, Koto Ward 江東区常盤1-3 Tokyo

. Cultural Keywords used by Basho .

. - KIGO used by Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - .


- - - - - Kobayashi Issa - - - - -

when I saw the site on which Basho's hut was once located in Fukagawa --

furu ike ya mazu o-saki e to tobu kawazu

old pond,
pardon me for going first
frog says, jumping

Tr. Chris Drake

This hokku by Issa appears in the posthumously edited collection Asagi-zora (Light Blue Sky). It is a variant of a hokku written by Issa in the first month (February) of 1816:

yamabuki ya mazu o-saki e to tobu kawazu

wild yellow rose,
pardon me for going first
frog says, jumping

Both versions of this hokku are evocations of a polite frog about to jump into a pond, but they are more than that. On one important level each version refers to a story told by Shiko, one of Basho's followers, although the allusion is more direct in the original hokku. According to Shiko, one day, as Basho and his protege Kikaku were talking at Basho's hut in Fukagawa in Edo, Basho mentioned that he was looking for a good first line for a hokku. He explained that he'd already written the last two lines:

kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto

the sound of a leaping frog
entering water

Hearing that, Kikaku suggested using yamabuki ya or "wild yellow rose --" as the first line, since the image of the newly blooming yellow rose captures the pathos of spring leaving and the imminent arrival of summer. Basho finally rejected the elegant, colorful flower for "old pond --," a simpler image that puts the focus on the actual frog and on the pond. In response to this dialog between Basho and Kikaku more than a century earlier, Issa in the original hokku in 1816 imagines how the frog in Basho's mind is transformed from being a sound juxtaposed with a flower into the main actor in the hokku. Ah -- the frog might be telling the flower if its polite phrase were unpacked -- beautiful yellow rose, you are certainly worthy of going first, but Basho just told me to get moving and jump into that pond, so I'll have to pass you and leave you behind here on the pond's edge. You'll have to pardon me for going ahead of you like this.
In Issa's humorous dramatization of the creation of Basho's hokku, the cutting word ya at the end of the first line also functions, because of the context, as a particle used by the energetic frog to get the attention of the yellow rose, so I believe this cutting word can be translated with either a dash or a comma.

Because of the reference to the conversation between Basho and Kikaku, the second line of the original hokku becomes on one level the frog's apology to the yellow rose for bumping it out of the hokku at the moment Basho decides to use "old pond" instead. It's likely Basho also made a polite apology to Kikaku, thanking him for his helpful suggestion that stimulated Basho's imagination even as he passed by the flower on his way toward a deeper hokku. There are no pronouns in the frog's apology, so who or what is going ahead is not explicitly mentioned. Instead, the reference to the one going ahead is communicated by the speaker's body language -- in this case the frog's jump definitively finishes its verbal statement and indicates that it's impolitely going ahead. If a human were using this polite phrase, s/he would either
1) add an extra phrase ("excuse me" would indicate that the speaker is going first, while "please go ahead" would indicate that the listener should go first) or
2) use a gesture of some sort to identify the person who should go first. In both versions of Issa's hokku, it is the frog's diving stance and act of diving.

In the later variation of this hokku, translated first above, on one level the frog apparently asks the old pond itself to pardon him for the abrupt jump Basho has decided the frog will make into its water. In this hokku the frog's apology to the yellow rose may be implicitly assumed, since "go first" implies the frog has moved in front of something else and thereby entered Basho's hokku, so the frog may also be apologizing for having pushed by the yellow rose. In Basho's hokku the pond itself is a more important and imposing presence than the "water" in Kikaku's version, a presence deserving the politeness shown by the frog in Issa's later version. Nevertheless, like Basho the vigorous frog doesn't hesitate to push forward and dive.

In Issa's time, the area in which Basho's hut was said to have stood was part of the large garden of a warrior lord. A stone memorializing Basho is said to have stood near the pond there that was believed to have been the one where Basho heard the jumping frog.

Chris Drake

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .


- quote March 26, 2021 -
Massive picture scroll on poet Basho's life on display for 1st time

"Basho-o Ekotoba-den" (The Life of the Venerable Basho in Pictures and Words) is on display as part of a special exhibition titled "Basho-o Ekotoba-den and Gichuji," which celebrates the museum's 30th anniversary.
- source : asahi.com - By JIRO TSUTSUI/


- #bashoan #fukagawa -