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Famous Japanese Poets - Famous Poets from Japan

This famous Japanese poets section is an educational source of information and inspiration featuring reknown Japanese poets. Here you will find famous poets of our time and times past from Japan.

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Akahito, Yamabe no

Yamabe no Akahito ( or ) (fl. 724–736) was a poet of the Nara period in Japan. The Man'yoshu, an ancient anthology, contains 13 choka ("long poems") and 37 tanka ("short poems") of his. Many of his poems were composed during journeys with Emperor Shomu between 724 and 736. Yamabe is regarded as one of the kami of poetry, and is called Waka Nisei along with Kakinomoto no Hitomaro. He is noted as one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals .
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Akemi, Tachibana

Tachibana Akemi ( , 1812 – October 13, 1868) was a Japanese poet and classical scholar.
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Akinari, Ueda

Ueda Akinari or Ueda Shusei ( , July 25, 1734, Osaka – August 8, 1809, Kyoto ) was a Japanese author, scholar and waka poet, and a prominent literary figure in 18th century Japan. He was an early writer in the yomihon genre and his two masterpieces, Ugetsu Monogatari ("Tales of Rain and the Moon") and Harusame Monogatari ("Tales of Spring Rain"), are central to the canon of Japanese literature.
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Akisue, Fujiwara no

Fujiwara no Akisue ( , 1055 – 27 September 1123) was a noted Japanese poet and nobleman. He was active at the end of the Heian period, and the son of Fujiwara no Takatsune (). He was also a member of the famous poetic and aristocratic clan, the Fujiwara .
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Anzai, Fuyue

Fuyue Anzai ( , Anzai Fuyue , March 9, 1898 – August 24, 1965) was a Japanese poet from Nara Prefecture, Japan .
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Ariake, Kambara

Kambara Ariake ( , 15 March 1876 – 3 February 1952) was the pen-name of a Japanese poet and novelist active during the Taisho and Showa periods of Japan .
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Atsuo, Masamune

Masamune Atsuo ( , November 15, 1881 - November 12, 1958) was a researcher of Japanese literature and a poet .
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Azumamaro, Kada no

Kada no Azumamaro ( , February 3, 1669 - August 8, 1736) was a poet and philologist of the early Edo period, who hailed from a scholarly family that for generations had supplied Shinto priests to the Inari shrine in Fushimi. From an early age he studied traditional Japanese poetry, waka, and Shinto thought and belief, and his precocity was such that he was soon employed as poetry tutor to one of the sons of Emperor Reigen (regnabat 1663-1687).
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Basho,

Matsuo Basho ( , 1644 – November 28, 1694), born Matsuo Kinsaku ( ), then Matsuo Chuemon Munefusa ( ), was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Basho was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku (at the time called hokku ). His poetry is internationally renowned, and in Japan many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites. Although Basho is justifiably famous in the west for his hokku, he himself believed his best work lay in leading and participating in renku. He is quoted as saying, “Many of my followers can write hokku as well as I can. Where I show who I really am is in linking haikai verses.”
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Basho, Matsuo

Matsuo Basho (1644–1694), renku and haiku poet
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Boncho,

Nozawa Boncho ( , 1640 - 1714) was a Japanese haikai poet. He was born in Kanazawa, and spent most of his life in Kyoto working as a doctor. Boncho was one of Matsuo Basho 's leading disciples and, together with Kyorai, he edited the Basho school's Monkey's Raincoat (Sarumino ) anthology of 1689. He participated in numerous renku with Basho and other members of his Shomon school.
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Boncho, Nozawa

Nozawa Boncho (c. 1640 – 1714), Japanese haikai poet
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Buson, Yosa

Yosa Buson was a Japanese poet and painter from the Edo period. Along with Matsuo Basho and Kobayashi Issa, Buson is considered among the greatest poets of the Edo Period. Buson was born in the village of Kema in Settsu Province (now Kema-cho, Miyakojima Ward in the city Osaka). His original family name was Taniguchi.. Japanese haikai poet and painter
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Chiyo-ni,

Fukuda Chiyo-ni (Kaga no Chiyo ) (; 1703 - 2 October 1775) was a Japanese poet of the Edo period, widely regarded as one of the greatest female haiku poets.
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Chiyo-ni, Fukuda

Fukuda Chiyo-ni (Kaga no Chiyo) (; 1703 - 2 October 1775) was a Japanese poet of the Edo period, widely regarded as one of the greatest female haiku poets.. Japanese poet of the Edo period; one of the greatest female haiku poets
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Chomei, Kamo no

Kamo no Chomei ( , 1153 or 1155–1216) was a Japanese author, poet (in the waka form), and essayist. He witnessed a series of natural and social disasters, and, having lost his political backing, was passed over for promotion within the Shinto shrine associated with his family. He decided to turn his back on society, take Buddhist vows, and became a hermit, living outside the capital. This was somewhat unusual for the time, when those who turned their backs on the world usually joined monasteries. Along with the poet-priest Saigyo he is representative of the literary recluses of his time, and his celebrated essay Hojoki ("An Account of a Ten-Foot-Square Hut") is representative of the genre known as " recluse literature" (soan bungaku).
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Daigaku, Horiguchi

Horiguchi Daigaku ( , 8 January 1892 – 15 March 1981) was a poet and translator of French literature in Taisho and Showa period Japan. He is credited with introducing French surrealism to Japanese poetry, and to translating the works of over 66 French authors into Japanese .
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Daughter, Shunzei's

Fujiwara no Shunzei no Musume ( , " Fujiwara no Shunzei 's daughter"; also occasionally called, or ), 1171 – 1252, was a Japanese poet ; she was probably the greatest female poet of her day, ranked with Princess Shikishi. Her father was the noted poet Fujiwara no Shunzei, and her even more famous brother, Fujiwara no Teika, thought enough of her talents to seek her out for advice and criticism after Shunzei died, although she did not hesitate to castigate him when he completed the Shinchokusen Wakashu, for Teika had turned against his former ideal poetic style of yoen (ethereal beauty) while Shunzei's Daughter had not- thus she found Teika's previous efforts to be markedly inferior, and even according to Donald Keene, "declared that if it had not been compiled by Teika she would have refused even to take it into her hands." (in a letter sent to Fujiwara no Tameie, Teika's son). She and others also criticized it for apparently deliberately excluding any of the objectively excellent poems produced by the three Retired Emperors exiled in the aftermath of the Jokyu War. Personal pique may also have played a role, since she saw 29 of her poems selected for the Shinkokinshu while only nine were chosen for the Shin Chokusenshu.
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Dokan, Ota

Ota Dokan ( , 1432 - August 25, 1486), also known as Ota Sukenaga () or Ota Dokan Sukenaga, was a Japanese samurai warrior-poet, military tactician and Buddhist monk. Ota Sukenaga took the tonsure (bald scalp) as a Buddhist priest in 1478, and he also adopted the Buddhist name, Dokan, by which he is known today. Dokan is best known as the architect and builder of Edo Castle (now the Imperial Palace ) in what is today modern Tokyo; and he is considered the founder of the castle town which grew up around that Onin era fortress.
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Emon, Akazome

Akazome Emon ( , 956–1041) was a Japanese waka poet and early historian who lived in the mid- Heian period. She is a member both of the Thirty Six Elder Poetic Sages (, Chuko Sanjurokkasen ) and the Thirty Six Female Poetic Sages (, Nyobo Sanjurokkasen ) .
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Fujii, Sadakazu

Sadakazu Fujii ( , Fujii Sadakazu , born 27 April 1942, Tokyo ) is a Japanese poet and scholar of Japanese literature, which includes the genres of ancient novels, the Man'yoshu, oral literature, Okinawan culture, Ainu language, and contemporary poetry. He is well known for his study on the Genji Monogatari. His poems and palindromes have been used in the musical compositions of Takahashi Yuji .
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Fujimura, Misao

Misao Fujimura ( , Fujimura Misao , July 1886 – May 22, 1903) was a Japanese philosophy student and poet, largely remembered due to his farewell poem.
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Funazaki, Yoshihiko

Yoshihiko Funazaki ( , Funazaki Yoshihiko , born February 2, 1945) is a Japanese novelist, poet, illustrator, manga artist, songwriter, and assistant professor of Shirayuri College. He has written more than 300 books.
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Gayu, Asukai

Asukai Gayu also known as Asukai Masaari ( , 1241 – February 20, 1301) was a Kamakura period nobleman and poet. He lived in Kamakura and occupied a high position in the Shogunate (, bakufu ). Eighty six of his poems are represented in the official collection Shokukokin Wakashu ( ). He also has a personal collection, The Woman Next Door (, rinjo wakashu ) .
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Genko, Jakushitsu

Jakushitsu Genko ( , June 23, 1290 – September 25, 1367) was a Japanese Rinzai master, poet, flute player, and first abbot of Eigen-ji (constructed solely for him to teach Zen). His poetry is considered to be among the finest of Zen poetry. He traveled to China and studied Ch'an with masters of the Linji school from 1320 to 1326, then returned to Japan and lived for many years as a hermit. It was only toward the end of his life that he decided to teach Zen to others.
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Gyoi,

Gyoi ( , 1177 - December 29, 1217), son of Fujiwara no Motofusa, was a Japanese poet and Buddhist monk of the late Heian, early Kamakura periods. Also known as, he is a member of New Thirty-six Poetry Immortals .
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Hamanari, Fujiwara no

Fujiwara no Hamanari ( , 724 – March 12, 790) was a Japanese noble and poet of the Nara period. He was the son of Fujiwara no Maro, and, according to the genealogy book Sonpi Bunmyaku, his mother was Uneme of Yakami no Kori, Inaba Province, who is probably the same person who had a famous affair with Aki no Okimi. The collection of Japanese poems Man'yoshu does not include his works. With an unknown woman he had a son Toyohiko ( ), among other children with other women. The footnote of Sonpi Bunmyaku, however, notes that Toyohiko is actually the grandson of Hamanari.
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Hayashi, Fumiko

Fumiko Hayashi ( , Hayashi Fumiko , December 31, 1903 or 1904 (Japanese sources disagree on the birth year) – June 28, 1951) was a Japanese novelist and poet .
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Hideo, Yoshino

Hideo Yoshino ( , Yoshino Hideo , July 3, 1902 - July 13, 1967) was a tanka poet in Showa period Japan .
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Hiromichi, Hagiwara

Hagiwara Hiromichi ( , March 29, 1815 - January 11, 1863) was a scholar of literature, philology, and nativist studies (Kokugaku ) as well as an author, translator, and poet active in late- Edo period Japan. He is best known for the innovative commentary and literary analysis of The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari, ca. 1010) found in his work titled Genji monogatari hyoshaku (An Appraisal of Genji ) published in two installments in 1854 and 1861.
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Hitomaro, Kakinomoto no

Kakinomoto no Hitomaro (or ; c. 662 – 710) was a Japanese poet and aristocrat of the late Asuka period. He was the most prominent of the poets included in the Man'yoshu, and was particularly represented in volumes 1 and 2. In Japan, he is considered one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals. After the Heian period he was often called "Hito-maru" .
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Hodai, Yamazaki

Hodai Yamazaki (, Yamazaki Hodai , November 1, 1914 - August 19, 1985) was a Japanese tanka poet active in Showa period Japan. His verses are characterized by the skilful use of colloquial language.
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Hosai, Ozaki

Ozaki Hosai ( , 20 January 1885 - 7 April 1926) was the haigo (haikai pen name ) of Ozaki Hideo, a Japanese poet of the late Meiji and Taisho periods of Japan. An alcoholic, Ozaki witnessed the birth of the modern free verse haiku movement. His verses are permeated with loneliness, most likely a result of the isolation, poverty and poor health of his final years.
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Hoshi, Saigyo

Saigyo Hoshi ( , 1118 – March 23, 1190) was a famous Japanese poet of the late Heian and early Kamakura period .
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Hoshino, Tatsuko

Tatsuko Hoshino ( , Hoshino Tatsuko , 15 November 1903—3 March 1984) was a Japanese haiku poet active in Showa period Japan .
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Hyakunin Isshu, Ogura

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu is a classical Japanese anthology of one hundred Japanese waka by one hundred poets. Hyakunin isshu can be translated to "one hundred people, one poem [each]"; it can also refer to the card game of uta-garuta, which uses a deck composed of cards based on the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.
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Ietaka, Fujiwara no

Fujiwara no Ietaka ( , 1158 – May 5, 1237 ) was an early Kamakura period Japanese waka poet. Several of his poems are included in the Shin Kokin Wakashu. He was related by marriage to Jakuren, which made him strongly connected to the network of poets of the time. He was a pupil to Fujiwara no Shunzei.
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Iida, Dakotsu

Dakotsu Iida ( , Iida Dakotsu , 26 April 1885 – 3 October 1962) was a famous Japanese haiku poet from what is now part of the cirt of Fuefuki, Yamanashi, Japan. Commonly referred to as Dakotsu, his real name was Takeji Iida ( , Iida Takeji ). He trained under Kyoshi Takahama, and was a frequent contributor to such haiku journals as Hototogisu (magazine) and Unmo. He was chief editor of Unmo .
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Ikkyu,

Ikkyu (, Ikkyu Sojun , 1394–1481) (self-named: "Crazy Cloud") was an eccentric, iconoclastic Japanese Zen Buddhist monk and poet. He had a great impact on the infusion of Japanese art and literature with Zen attitudes and ideals.
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Ikkyu,

Ikkyu (, Ikkyu Sojun , 1394–1481) (self-named: "Crazy Cloud") was an eccentric, iconoclastic Japanese Zen Buddhist monk and poet. He had a great impact on the infusion of Japanese art and literature with Zen attitudes and ideals.
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In, Eifuku-mon

Eifuku-mon In ( ) (also written Eifuku Mon'in) or Saionji Shoko (, , 1271–June 10, 1342) was a celebrated Japanese poet of the Kamakura period, and a consort of the 92nd emperor, Fushimi. She was a member of the Kyogoku school of verse (, Kyogoku-ha ), and her work appears in the Gyokuyoshu.
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Iratsume, Otomo no Sakanoe no

Otomo no Sakanoue no Iratsume ( , c. 700–750) was a female Japanese poet, important in her time, with 79 poems in the Man'yoshu .
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Isamu, Yoshii

Count Yoshii Isamu ( , October 8, 1886 - November 9, 1960) was a Japanese tanka poet and playwright writer active in Taisho and Showa period Japan. Attracted to European romanticism in his youth, his later works were more subdued.
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Ise, Lady

Lady Ise (or Ise no miyasudokoro ) (c. 875 – c. 938) was a female Japanese poet in the Imperial court's waka tradition. She was born to Fujiwara no Tsugukage of Ise Province, and eventually became the lover of the Prince Atsuyoshi and a concubine to Emperor Uda ; her son by him was Prince Yuki-Akari.
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Ishikawa, Takuboku

Takuboku Ishikawa ( , Ishikawa Takuboku , February 20, 1886 – April 13, 1912) was a Japanese poet. He died of tuberculosis. Well known as both a tanka and "modern-style" (, shintaishi ) or "free-style" (, jiyushi ) poet, he began as a member of the Myojo group of naturalist poets but later joined the "socialistic" group of Japanese poets and renounced naturalism.
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Issa,

Kobayashi Issa ( , June 15, 1763 - January 5, 1828), was a Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest of the Jodo Shinshu sect known for his haiku poems and journals. He is better known as simply Issa ( ), a pen name meaning Cup-of-tea (lit. "one [cup of] tea"). He is regarded as one of the four haiku masters in Japan, along with Basho, Buson and Shiki - 'the Great Four, Basho, Buson, Issa, Shiki'.
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Issa, Kobayashi

A Japanese writer of haikai (haiku) known for his hokku verses.. Japanese haikai poet
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Itcho, Hanabusa

Hanabusa Itcho ( , 1652 – February 7, 1724) was a Japanese painter, calligrapher, and haiku poet. He originally trained in the Kano style, under Kano Yasunobu, but ultimately rejected that style and became a literati (bunjin ). He was also known as Hishikawa Wao and by a number of other art-names .
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Itsue, Takamure

Takamure Itsue ( , January 18, 1894 - June 7, 1964) was a Japanese poet, activist - writer, feminist, anarchist, ethnologist and historian .
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Jakuren,

Jakuren ( ) (also known as Fujiwara no Sadanaga before becoming a monk) (1139–1202) was a Japanese Buddhist priest and poet. He was adopted by the noted poet Fujiwara no Shunzei upon the death of Shunzei's younger brother. Shunzei originally intended for Sadanaga to be his heir; however, he subsequently had two male offspring of his own, and Sadanaga was forced to step aside in favor of Fujiwara no Sadaie. As was common practice at the time, he became a monk, and acquired the religious name of Jakuren. Taking Saigyo as his model, he traveled around the country, composing poems of his travels. He was well regarded in his time and frequently associated with Fujiwara no Teika. He was one of the six compilers of the eighth imperial waka anthology, the famous Shin Kokin Wakashu, and thirty-five of his poems were selected for the work. Before he died, he adopted Fujiwara no Ietaka, pupil to Shunzei. One of his poems was included in the famous poetry anthology Hyakunin Isshu .
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