Ichihara Tayo-Jo


Ichihara Tayo-Jo 市原多代女 / 市原たよ女

1776 - 1865, born in the year Anei 5 安永5年

She was born as a daughter of a traditional ricewine-brewing family, with seven siblings in the happy home. Her parents instructed her in the good behaviour of her times.
Her father was Yoshitsuna 寿綱, her mother was Taka たか.

When she was 31 years, her busband, Arioka 有綱 died suddenly. She had to take care of the family business and three children. Because of all this hardship, she finally fell ill.

A haiku poet who lived close by, Ishii Ukoo 石井雨孝, introduced her to the pleasures of writing haiku. She gained her health back soon and wrote haiku to her old age of 90 years. She even travelled alone to Edo at age 48 to study about haiku and was quite emancipated for a woman of the feudal ages. Her travel record is "Edo Nobori 江戸上り" .

Her most important collection is 浅香市集.

Some of her poems are even printed in school books.

© PHOTO city.sukagawa.fukushima.jp

She was an ardid admirer of Matsuo Basho.
When she was 80 years old, she had a haiku stone memorial erected at temple Juunen-Ji 十念寺 with this famous haiku by Basho, when he passed Sukagawa on his travels to the Far North:

fuuryuu no hajime ya Oku no taue uta

The first poetic venture
I came across --
The rice planting-songs
Of the far north.

Tr. Nobuyuki Yuasa

The beginning of all art:
a song when planting a rice field
in the country's inmost part.

Tr. Henderson

jetzt wirds langsam poetisch ...
das Lied der Reispflanzer
von den Nordprovinzen

. WKD : Gabi Greve : Haiku from Tohoku .

(This hokku has the cut marker YA in the middle of line 2.)
Rice planting hokku by
. Matsuo Basho - Archives of the WKD .

. fuuryuu, fûryû 風流 and fuuga, fûga 風雅 elegance .

. WKD : planting rice in the paddies, taue 田植 .


Blyth about Tayo-Jo

"Tayo-jo, 1772-1865, was the wife of a certain Muranaga and learned haikai at first from Michihiko, then from Otsuni. She went to Edo in 1823."

yuku mo kuru mo mina harukaze no tsutsumi kana

People coming, people going,
It is all the spring wind
Along the embankment.

sorezore ni na mo arige nari moyuru kusa

Each must have its name,
The green-burning

chinchooge yoru mo kakurenu nioi kana

The 'chinchooge'
Cannot be hid, even at night,--
The fragrance!

"The 'chinchooge' is a flowering bush, ith an extremely strong, sweet smell."
WKD : Daphne (jinchooge)

kakururumo subayaki kiji ya kusa no kaze

A pheasant
Has rushed into cover?
Wind in the grasses.

ikisugite ware mo samui zo fuyu no hae

Living too long,
I too am cold,
O winter fly!

"A verse which sounds like her death-poem; she died at the age of ninety three."

....................... After the entry on Tayo-jo Blyth writes:

"We come now to the lowest point in the history of haiku, the period between Issa and Shiki. Shiki was born in 1856, and Issa died in 1827, so this time is about the fifty years between 1827 and 1877."


zen-doki o oboete kuru ya suzume no ko

Here come the young sparrows!
They seem to have learned
When meal-time is.

Tr. Blyth

They have learned
to visit at mealtimes--
baby sparrows

Tr. Stephen Addiss

....................... Addiss writes of Tayo-jo:

"Tayo (1776-1865)
A haiku pupil of doctor and poet Michihiko (1757-1819), Tayo moved to Edo in 1823, where she lived as a haiku master until the age of ninety. Her two sons also became good haiku poets."


shira-sagi no nakazuba yuki no hito maroge

The white heron -
if it were not for its cry,
it would be rounded-snow.

Tr. Hugh Bygott

if the white heron
didn't cry ... just a large

tr. William J. Higginson

Here is a similar hokku by Chiyo-ni 千代尼 :

koe nakuba sagi ushinawan kesa no yuki

but for their voices
the herons would disappear--
this morning's snow

trans. Patricia Donegan and Yoshie Ishibashi

"Herons in the snow"
Koson Ohara (1877-1945)

Click for more Heron kigo.


hi no sasu ya sugima ni miyuru karasu uri

sunrays -
between the pines we see
snake gourds

Tr. Gabi Greve
QUOTE from saijikoyomi


Tayo-Jo wrote this haiku shortly before her death

終に行く 道はいづくぞ 花の雲
tsui ni yuku michi wa izuku zo hana no kumo

where is it,
this final road ?
clouds of cherry blossoms

Tr. Gabi Greve

Temple Juunen-Ji 十念寺
© PHOTO kaido BLOG 遊戯人


Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 


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