SHIKI - backup


. - Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規 Introduction - .

This is only a backup of the introduction.
October 2013

Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規
- and his hometown, Matsuyama 松山 -

. . SHIKI - Cultural Keywords and ABC-List . .

Join the Masaoka Shiki - Study Group on facebook!


Shiki Masaoka, Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規
the haiku poet, was born in Matsuyama in 1867. He died on September 19,1902.
Shiki is well known in Japan for introducing a new style of haiku, a short poetic form, and for enhancing the arts.

The word Shiki can also mean "The four seasons 四季" in Japanese.
The seasons are very important in Japanese haiku, so Shiki is an appropriate name for the haiku server.

Shiki's career
Shiki's paintings
Shiki's haiku (in Kim's haiku world)
After Basho,Buson & Issa

© source : haiku.cc.ehime-u.ac.jp/~shiki . . .

Shiki Memorial Museum - search for his haiku :
source : sikihaku.lesp.co.jp/community/search

A haiku friend asked: WHO was Matsuyama?
Well, here is the answer.

Matsuyama is an old castle town on the Western side of the Island of Shikoku, where Masaoka Shiki used to live and teach haiku.

The famous novel "Botchan" by Natsume Soseki also takes place in Matsuyama. It is a town full of literature inspirations.

CLICK for more photos of the hot spring !
And the old hot spring Dogo Onsen is a great place to relax.

Gabi Greve

. WKD : Masaoka Shiki and Matsuyama 松山 .


In his youth, he was called NOBO, or NOBO SAN by his friends
升(のぼ)さん(正岡子規の幼名) / のぼさん
This was short for his real name, Noboru 升(のぼる).

Sometimes mis-spelled Nobu-San.

Masaoka Noboru

Masaoka Tsunenori (正岡 常規)
Tokoronosuke (処之助) and later Noboru (升).

. Nobo san のぼさん
and Masaoka Shiki Memorial Days


Haiku is poetry
that expresses itself through season words.

Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規

17 September 1867 – 19 September 1902
Details in the WIKIPEDIA

Now, To Be! Shiki’s Haiku Moments for Us Today
edited by Masako Hirai (Hirai Masako 平井雅子).
Gyouga-Manroku 仰臥漫録 Gyooga Manroku, Gyōga manroku, GYÔKA-MANROKU
(Stray Notes While Lying on My Back).


. his FAMILY - His sister Ritsu 律 .
- his mother Yae 八重
- his grandfather Oohara Kanzan 大原観山 Ohara Kanzan, the Confucian scholar

Visiting Shiki’s House

The home of Masaoka Shiki in Tokyo in the Negishi District of Tokyo was often referred to as
"Negishi no sato no wabizumai", the simple abode of the retired poet.

. Masaoka Shiki in Negishi .


furusato ya oya sukoyaka ni sushi no aji

my dear hometown -
my mother is well and
the taste of sushi

. Matsuyama sushi 松山鮓 and Masaoka Shiki  

. Shiki and his furusato hometown haiku .


Masaoka Shiki: the Misunderstood Reformer, Critic and Poet
Carmen Sterba, 2011
A "Sketch from Life" was One of Shiki's Many Techniques

According to Japanese poetry expert, Ueda Makoto, "Shiki mentored numerous amateur poets; therefore, he devised the sketch-of-life technique to avoid "decorative words, ornamental language, and self-conscious imaginings." In Modern Japanese Poets, Ueda shares that Shiki believed it was vital to write from experience and saw "at least two fatal flaws" to avoid: The falsification of fact and the tendency to be overly intellectual." Some other suggestions Shiki gave were
(1) to "pay more attention to lesser-known locales" rather than famous places,
(2) to walk and observe nature, but afterwards write at home,
(3) to focus on "material and theme in a way that will reveal [your] individuality,"
(4)to read other's haiku to be informed, and
(5) to know something of the history of tanka (originally called waka).
Ueda also suggests that Basho wrote about the "beauty of external nature" and Shiki wrote haiku based on "internal, psychological reality of what is truthful (makoto)."

Shiki Admired Basho Even While He Criticized Him
Shiki's Last Years and the Importance of His Friends

source : carmen-sterba.suite101.com


Centenary of the Death of Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)
Masaoka Shiki’s literary carrier burst into literature when the majority of authors were copying limitlessly the European and American literature of the Meiji restoration period. His poetical style was the shasei, meaning “drawing from life”. Using this informal, spoken language, he dared to enounce the importance of going back to the traditional roots of Japanese poetry, calling it a source in the process of defining modern Japanese modes of expression.
source : World Haiku Review . Susumu Takiguchi


四国の作家 正岡子規 俳句
Haiku and kigo used by Shiki

Selected Poems of Masaoka Shiki
Translated by Janine Beichman
- page with many samples
source : etext.lib.virginia.edu

Masaoka Shiki, Books and online
. WKD : Further Reference .


Things found on the way

A good friend of Shiki

. Natsume Sooseki 夏目漱石 Natsume Soseki .


haru ya mukashi sen gohyakuman goku no jooka kana

"Spring season reminds me of the capital town of 150,000 goku."

When you walk around in the Matsuyama town, you will find, in many places, haiku monuments and haiku posts at which you can mail a brandnew haiku you have just created.
source : infocreate.co.jp/en/shikoku/matsuyam ...

it's spring - in olden times
the castle town of
onehundred and fiftythousand KOKU

The richness of a domain in the Edo period was calculated in barrels or bags of tax rice (koku, ...goku) and 150.000 barrels was not that much, but Shiki was proud of his hometown.

jooka , below the castle, is short for .. jooka machi 城下町 .. , the town at the feet of a domain's caslte. Nowadays the word is often used with a lot of nostalgia for the good old times in the Edo period.
The castle of Matsuyama is right up on a large hill, overlooking the city and can bee seen from many small streets in the town.
Gabi Greve : Translating Haiku Forum

- quote
This is a haiku which is not found in the major English translations of Shiki's haiku, probably for the reason that Ad G. Blankestijn gives:
"[it] is unfortunately not very beautiful in translation..."
According to Blankestijn, there is a haiku stone with this haiku on it just outside the JR Matsuyama station.

it's spring!
when this was a castle town
it was a prosperous one!

Tr. and Comment by Larry Bole -

. jookamachi, 城下町 Jokamachi, castle towns .


子規 逝くや十七日の月明に
Shiki iku ya jushichi-nichi no getsumei ni

Shiki passed away
on the moonlit night
of September

Takahama Kyoshi 高浜虚子
Kyoshi was with Shiki beside his deathbed.

Masaoka Shiki, a haiku poet, went to his eternal rest on Sept. 19th, 1902. Released from many years' struggle with his deadly disease, he completed his life of 35 years in peace. September 19th is the 110th anniversary of Shiki's death.

Shiki is probably the greatest personality Matsuyama has ever produced. He is great not because he left behind so many haiku poems but because he endured an extraordinarily harsh and intensive life without ever losing mental energy to the last and because he lived as a sincere and real human being. He was great because he had exceptionally strong will power. He was great because he remained optimistic and retained a sense of humor despite the fact that he could see only a hopeless future with severe pains just partially relieved with morphine.

Shiki left Matsuyama for Tokyo at the age of 16 with the ambition of becoming a prime minister, but contracted a tuberculosis at age 20, which was regarded as an incurable disease in those days.

Shiki is great for his writing, his unique personality and his nonpareil way of life in total. No one underestimates his achievements in haiku renovation, but in regards to sketch theory as a technique of writing haiku, there will always be some contemporary haiku poets who are negative about Shiki's accomplishments.

Matsuyama Outloud, September 2012
source : home.e-catv.ne.jp


"teizen 庭前" Front Garden

keitoo no juushigohon mo arinubeshi

There should be
Fourteen or fifteen.

tr. Blyth

My comment
In a recent documentary about the life of Shiki, I saw the cockscombs in his garden, a flower he liked very much. When he could not move around any more, his sitster, who cared for him lovingly, planted the flowers a bit closer to the veranda. Later, when he had to be in bed all the time, she re-planted them again so that he could still see them when he uplifted his upper body, holding on to a crutch under his arm. Counting the blossoms was one of his daily joys in his sickbed.

When he became completely bedridden, she replanted many flowers, including the hechima gourds, directly on the veranda in pots, so he could see them while lying on his back in bed.

Gabi Greve, January 2010

Read more about the translations of this haiku
. Cockscomb and Shiki


matsu sugi ya kareno no naka no Fudōdō

pine and cypress:
in a withered field,
a shrine to Fudō

mihotoke ni shirimuke oreba tsuki suzushi

I turn my back
on Buddha and face
the cool moon

suzushisa ya kami to hotoke no tonaridoshi

in the coolness
gods and Buddhas
dwell as neighbors

Read many more here:
Poetry of Shiki, translated by Janine Beichman

Shiki about Basho, Issa and Chiyo-Ni


harukaze ya shiro arawaruru matsu no ue

spring breeze -
the castle shows
above the pines

Here he talks about his beloved Matsuyama castle.

haru no shimo itoyuu to natte moenikeri

spring frost
becomes a heat shimmer and
burns to its end

Tr. Gabi Greve

haru no shimo ?shiyuu to natte moenikeri

fune to kishi to hanashite iru hinaga kana
discussion of anthropomorphism and haiku


- WASHOKU - Food Haiku by Masaoka Shiki

Shiki has written many haiku including the name of a temple or shrine during his travels in Japan.

. WKD - Masaoka Shiki visiting Shrines and Temples .

- reference -

Shiki traveling in Tohoku - Hateshirazu no ki はて知らずの記
source : ms-hatesirazu

Shiki Haiku Collection of the Four Seasons - 俳句案内
source : haiku/siki


fuku Daruma kowaki ni burari Shiki no machi

. a lucky Daruma
under my arm - walking leisurely
in the town of Shiki

source : mineotose


Saka no ue no kumo 坂の上の雲

"Saka no ue no kumo" centers around Yoshifuru Akiyama (Hiroshi Abe), his older brother Saneyuki Akiyama (Masahiro Motoki), and poet Masaoka Shiki (Teruyuki Kagawa) during the Russo-Japanese War.
The drama depicts Japan's modernization in the Meiji era through the help of the Akiyama brothers.
It is based on a novel by Ryotaro Shiba.

- Reference -

Related words

***** WKD : Santoka and Sake 山頭火と酒

Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 

Fudo Myo-O, a Japanese Deity - 不動明王 


. . SHIKI - Cultural Keywords and ABC-List . .

Matsuyama, die Haiku-Stadt  German


. Shiki - Cultural Keywords and ABC-List .

Join the Masaoka Shiki - Study Group on facebook!

Related words

***** Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 


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