Shuson Kato is one of the many masters of Japanese haiku poetry. Born as Takeo Kato, he later took up the pen-name Shosun as many Japanese writers have done. Shosun Kato has been an important and admired figure in the circle of haiku writers.
Shosun was born in 1905 in Tokyo and was baptized as a Christian when he was thirteen. Early on, Shosun made the decision to become a writer and began his career as an assistant teacher at a Junior High School in a small town. The surrounding environment of the school inspired many of Shosun’s haiku poems.
Before he became a famous haiku poet, Shosun actually hated the restricting format of haiku. Instead, he was more interested in the 31 syllable format of tanka. It wasn’t until Shosun met Shuoshi Mizuhara, a doctor and highly acclaimed haiku poet, where he began to fully embrace haiku poetry. He published his first collection of haiku in 1939 and founded his own haiku magazine. Writing poetry was not just Shosun’s career, but also his passion. He was deeply rooted in the healing powers of poetry which helped him overcome his illness during the 1960s. Once he recovered, Shosun continued composing haiku poems and expressing his ideas on human life through his work.