Yosa Buson

Yosa Buson was born Yosa Taniguchu in 1716, in the Settsu Province in Japan. Though young Yosa was born to an affluent and wealthy family, he forsook the comforts of his natural environment to pursue a life studying the arts. When he was 20 years old, Yosa moved to Edo (which is now Tokyo) to study poetry with Hayano Hajin, a haikai master of the time. After his studies with Hajin came to an end when the master passed away, Yosa relocated to Shimosa Province. Thereafter, he and went on excursions across Japan, hoping to find the inspiration which met with his favorite poet Matsuo Busho on his own journeys.

From his travels, Yosa wrote his notes and poems in a 1744 publication, under the name Yosa Buson. Though many details of Yosa’s life are unclear, we do know that he explored much of Japan from Tango to Sanuki, eventually settling in Kyoto when he was 42 years old. There he made his permanent residence, and like many of his contemporaries, Yosa married later in life at age 45. The marriage produced a daughter named Kuno, and devoted to his family, Yosa stayed in Kyoto. There he spent the remainder of his life teaching and writing poetry under the haiku pen name Yahantei, meaning midnight studio. Yosa Buson died in Kyoto at 68 years old.

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