Matsumura Goshun Gekkei


Matsumura Goshun Gekkei
松村呉春 - 松村月渓

April 28, 1752 - September 4, 1811
宝暦2年3月15日 Hooreki (1752年4月28日)
- 文化8年7月17日 Bunka (1811年9月4日))

source:  ja.wikipedia.org

Japanese Painter of the Edo Period and founder of the Shijō school of painting.
He was a disciple of the painter and poet Yosa Buson (1716–1784), a master of Japanese southern school painting.

... he began his education as a painter very early. In those years his masters were painters of the nanga-style, learned scholars of the literati-traditions that had come over from china, among them Yosa Buson (1716–1784) who taught Goshun among other things literati-painting and haiku-poetry.

... By 1787 it was certain that he would have to join up with another band of painters, so he worked with the circle of painters around Maruyama Ōkyo (Maruyama Okyo 1733–1795) to work at the screen-doors of the Daijō-ji, a temple in Hyōgo prefecture.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

The Shijoo ha 四条派 Shijo school of painting, named after the
Fourth street (shijoo 四条) in Kyoto, where most painters lived.


Painting by Gekkei

kiri hioke mugen no koto no nadegokoro

this paulownia brazier -
it feels like striking a koto
without strings

haiku by Buson

source : www.kobijutsu-kyoto.jp

hioke, hibachi from paulownia wood

. Hibachi, Braziers 火鉢  .

koto zither from paulownia wood


nisan shaku aki no hibiki ya otoshimizu

water falls down
for two three shaku -
sounds of autumn

one shaku is about 30 cm.

. water falls down - otoshimizu .
draining the paddies during the dog days of summer


ash container

uzumibi ya kanate urami noyoi ta ete

my jealousy,
like an ash-covered charcoal fire
has survived the night

Signed: Gekkei / Sealed: Goshun

source : www.sarugallery.com


- Comment by Larry Bole:

The following is from two sources.

From "A History of Haiku: Vol. Two," by R. H. Blyth:

Gekkei, 1752--1811, learned painting and haikai from Buson, and after Buson's death, studied painting under the famous Maruyama Ookyo, and established a new style termed Shijoo-fuu. Gekkei published a book of haikai toghether with Gyoodai, Kito, and Seira, one of the chief works of the Buson School. His wife, Ume, who died a year before him, was also good at haikai. He was buried by Buson's grave.

te ni kiyuru kangiku no ha no koori kana

Melting in the hand,
The ice on the leaves
Of the winter chrysanthemums.

And here are excerpts, mostly pertaining to haiku, from the catalog for the exhibition, "The Poet-Painters: Buson and His Followers" (The University of Michigan Museum of Art & The Center for japanese Studies, 1974):


"Goshun was in every way a man of the world: the smartly dressed, dashing habitue of the licensed quarters, who took a famous beauty as his bride, and after her death married another woman of the brothels. He was a man of diverse enthusiasms, famous as a haiku poet and 'haiga' artist, who rose to prominence as the talented, favored pupil of /Buson. ... Favored by temperament, talent, and circumstance, Goshun enjoyed a successful career throughout his life. His art is refined, charming, accomplished, whether it be executed in the Shijoo style he ultmiately developed or in the earlier Bunjin manner presently considered."

"Around 1772, at age twenty, Goshun [became] the pupil of Yosa Buson. Though his primary interest was in painting, he included poetry in his studies as well, and having determined to devote his life to the arts, retired
at an early age from the family gold mint and moved into Buson's house, where he was accepted as 'ushi deshi', or direct disciple. It was at this time he began calling himself Gekkei ..."

"Goshun and Buson not only shared the same house in their student-teacher relationship, but enjoyed a mutual social life as well, and together frequented the teahouses of the Shimabara, the licensed quarters of Kyoto."

"It was there [in the Shimabara] that he met the celebrated 'yuujo' Hanaji, whose own enthusiasm for and skill at writing haiku were at least part of the incentive for their liaison. In April of 1778 Hanaji and Goshun were married."

"Hanaji's master, a man named Kikyooya Harusuke, was an influential man in the Shimabara. It was he who built within the area the house called Fuya-an, where Buson and his disciples celebrated their haiku parties."

"The marriage was felicitious, and lasted three years. Then in March of 1781, Hanaji embarked on a sea voyage to visit her parents... ; en route her ship capsized and she drowned."

"No doubt Goshun would have continued to live on in Ikeda [where he had moved] had not Buson, in November of 1783, become seriously ill and summoned Goshun and Ki Batei back to Kyoto. When Buson died, Gekkei
[Goshun] expressed his grief in the poignant lines:

Ake mutsu to Hoete kooruya Kane no koe

In the cold pre-dawn,
A wailing, chilling sorrow---
Temple bell's death knell."

"[Goshun] had by [1808-1809] abandoned poetry, producing haiku only at the express demands of patrons, the poems revealing the lack of inspiration."

"[Goshun's] second wife, a former courtesan named Umejo from the Osaka licensed quarter, died in November of 1810. Thereafter he himself suffered ill health, and it is claimed he stopped cutting his hair and fingernails, bathing, or caring for his clothes, and gave himself up to excessive drinking. He died in his own house on September 4, 1811, age fifty-nine, and was buried at the Daitsuji Temple, South Kyoto. In 1889, when the Daitsuji was abandoned, artists of the Shijoo school had his ashes exhumed and moved to Kompukuji, Ichijooju, North Kyoto, where they remain today on a hill behind the temple beside the grave of Buson."

[No one single author is credited with the writing, so here is a list of the people who contributed to the information in the catalog:
Calvin L. French, Stephen Addiss, Joan Hertzog, Sadako Ohki, Grace Vlam, and Gail C. Weigl]

- - - - - As an interesting sidenote,
Cheryl Crowley, in "Haikai Poet Yosa Buson and the Basho Revival," says that there is a 'surimono' (a genre of Japanese woodblock print) that associates the following haiku "with a woman: Umejo, a haikai poet who first made [Buson's] acquaintance when she was a courtesan. Umejo later married Buson's disciple, the painter and poet Matsumura Gekkei."

The 'hokku', by Buson:

hana o fumishi zoori mo miete asane kana

that she walked beneath the blossoms
is visible even on her sandals---
sleeping late this morning

trans. Crowley

In a footnote, Crowley writes:
In addition to the 'haiga' versions of this poem, there is also a 'surimono' that has a longer inscription that adds "The above verse is a little ditty I [Buson] wrote when I went visiting Kayamachi near Shijoo, a place where the man from Naniwa is staying. . .at the time we went from Umejo's house and wrote out a 'hokku' saying how can you overlook the spring scenery of the capital?"

- reference : Larry on facebook -


Japanese Reference

松村月渓 - Gekkei

松村呉春 - Goshun

Related words

***** Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 


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