Chiyo-ni

Chiyo-ni is one of the few highly acclaimed female haiku poets of Japan during the Edo period.  She was born in 1703 in Matto, Kaga Province and began writing haiku poetry very early.  She was the daughter of a picture framer and became the disciple of Matsuo Basho when she turned twelve.

Chiyo-ni’s poetry almost always referenced nature and she often aimed to unite nature and humanity through her work.  As she matured and grew older, Chiyo-ni became extremely popular all over Japan for her haiku poetry.  Aside from being the disciple of Basho, Chiyo-ni was also taught by the students of Basho.  This allowed her to adhere to a very traditional style of haiku poetry, one that was close to Basho’s own style.  Over time, Chiyo-ni was able to develop her own style while maintaining the traditional Japanese haiku styles.

The morning glory is a popular Japanese flower that appears in Chiyo-ni’s poetry on many occasions. For this reason, the morning glory is a symbolic and favorite flower of the people who lived in Chiyo-ni’s hometown.  Once can also find references to Chiyo-ni’s poetry in popular culture, such as the chorus for the song “Dragonflies” by Red House Painters.  Till this day, Chiyo-ni is considered one of the most popular female haiku poets of all time.

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