Naitō Jōsō

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Naitō Jōsō (内藤 丈草, 1662 – March 29, 1704) was one of the principal disciples of Bashō,[1] and himself also a respected haiku writer in the Genroku period of Japan. Originally, he was a samurai from Owari, but he had to leave military service due to ill health.[2] Taking up the literary life, he became a devout disciple of Bashō, and when the Master died in 1694, Naito mourned him for a full three years, and remained his devout follower for the rest of his life.

Examples of Naitō's Haiku[edit]

Mountains and plains/ all are taken by the snow --/ nothing remains

No need to cling/ to things --/ floating frog.[3]

These branches/ were the first to bud --/ falling blossoms.

A lightning bolt/ splits in two and strikes/ the mountaintop.[4]

The sleet falls/ As if coming through the bottom/ Of loneliness.[5]


  1. ^ D. T. Suzuki. Zen and Japanese Culture. New York City: MJF Books, 1959. p. 236
  2. ^ Steven D. Carter. Traditional Japanese Poetry: An Anthology. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1991 p. 376
  3. ^ Lucien Stryk & Takashi Ikemodo, trans. & ed. Zen Poetry: Let The Spring Breezes Enter. New York City: Grove Press, 1995. p. 65
  4. ^ Carter, p. 382
  5. ^ Yuzuru Miura. Classic Haiku: A Master's Collection. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 2001. p.94