Yosa Buson

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Yosa Buson, drawing by Matsumura Goshun
Xiao He chases Han Xin by Yosa Buson (Nomura Art Museum)
Yosa Buson, Crows and Falcon

Yosa Buson or Yosa no Buson (与謝 蕪村, 1716 – January 17, 1784[1]) was a Japanese poet and painter of the Edo period. Along with Matsuo Bashō and Kobayashi Issa, Buson is considered among the greatest poets of the Edo Period. And, he is known for completing haiga as a style of art.[2]


Buson was born in the village of Kema in Settsu Province (now Kema-chō, Miyakojima Ward in Osaka city). His original family name was Taniguchi.

Around the age of 20, Buson moved to Edo (now Tokyo) and learned poetry under the tutelage of the haikai master Hayano Hajin. After Hajin died, Buson moved to Shimōsa Province (modern-day Ibaraki Prefecture). Following in the footsteps of his idol, Matsuo Bashō, Buson travelled through the wilds of northern Honshū that had been the inspiration for Bashō's famous travel diary, Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Interior). He published his notes from the trip in 1744, marking the first time he published under the name Buson.

After travelling through various parts of Japan, including Tango (the northern part of modern Kyoto Prefecture) and Sanuki (Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku), Buson settled down in the city of Kyoto at the age of 42. Around this time, he began to write under the name of Yosa, which he took from his mother's birthplace (Yosa in the province of Tango).[3]

Buson married at the age of 45 and had one daughter, Kuno.

At the age of 51, he left his wife and children in Kyoto and went to Sanuki province (now,Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku) to work on many works.[4]

After returning to Kyoto again, he wrote and taught poetry at the Sumiya. As models for his pupils, he singled out four of Bashō's disciples: Kikaku, Kyorai, Ransetsu, and Sodō.[5] In 1770, he assumed the haigō (俳号, haiku pen name) of Yahantei II (夜半亭二世, "Midnight Studio"), which had been the pen name of his teacher Hajin.

Buson died at the age of 68 and was buried at Konpuku-ji in Kyoto.

The cause of death was previously diagnosed as severe diarrhea, but recent investigations indicate that it was myocardial infarction.[6]

His work is kept in many museums worldwide, including the Seattle Art Museum,[7] the Metropolitan Museum of Art,[8] the University of Michigan Museum of Art,[9] the Harvard Art Museums,[10] the Worcester Art Museum,[11] the Kimbell Art Museum,[12] and the British Museum.[13]

Sample poem[edit]

Sumizumi ni nokoru samusa ya ume no hana
In nooks and corners
Cold remains:
Flowers of the plum
(translated by RH Blyth)[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Buson (Japanese artist and poet) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  2. ^ 都島区役所総務課 (1996). 蕪村と都島 (in Japanese). Japan: 都島の歴史に関する調査研究委員会. p. 2.
  3. ^ Henry Trubner, Tsugio Mikami, Idemitsu Bijutsukan. Treasures of Asian art from the Idemitsu Collection. Seattle Art Museum, 1981. ISBN 978-0-932216-06-9 p174
  4. ^ Shin 'chi, Fujita (2012). 別冊太陽 与謝蕪村 画俳ふたつの道の達人 (in Japanese). Japan: 平凡社. p. 170. ISBN 978-4-582-92202-8.
  5. ^ S Addiss, The Art of Haiku (2012) p. 192
  6. ^ Sugiura, Morikuni (2008). 江戸期文化人の死因 (in Japanese). Japan: 思文閣出版. ISBN 978-4-7842-1422-8.
  7. ^ "Works – Yosa Buson – Artists – eMuseum". art.seattleartmuseum.org. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  8. ^ www.metmuseum.org https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/671023?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&ft=Yosa+Buson&offset=0&rpp=20&pos=1. Retrieved 2021-01-07. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Exchange: Crows Flying Through Rain". exchange.umma.umich.edu. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  10. ^ Harvard. "From the Harvard Art Museums' collections Crossing a Mountain Stream by a Bridge". harvardartmuseums.org. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  11. ^ "Travelers on Horseback on a Mountain in Spring | Worcester Art Museum". www.worcesterart.org. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  12. ^ "Landscape with a Solitary Traveler | Kimbell Art Museum". www.kimbellart.org. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  13. ^ "hanging scroll; painting | British Museum". The British Museum. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  14. ^ Blyth, R.H., (translator). Haiku: Spring. Volume 2 of Haiku, Hokuseido Press, 1981, ISBN 978-0-89346-159-1 p572

External links[edit]