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Takarai Kikaku

Takarai Kikaku Japanese poet

Japanese poet
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Japanese poet
Was Poet Writer
From Japan
Type Literature
Gender male
Birth 11 August 1661, Edo
Death 1 April 1707, Edo (aged 45 years)
The details

Takarai Kikaku (Japanese: 宝井其角; 1661–1707) also known as Enomoto Kikaku, was a Japanese haikai poet and among the most accomplished disciples of Matsuo Bashō. His father was an Edo doctor, but Kikaku chose to become a professional haikai poet rather than follow in his footsteps.
Kikaku is best known for his haiku, such as the one in this anecdote about him and his master:
One day, Kikaku composed a haiku,
Red dragonfly / break off it wings / Sour cherry
which Bashō changed to,
Sour cherry / add wings to it / Red dragonfly;
thus saying that poetry should add life to life, not take life away from life. His master is known to have denigrated Kikaku's 'flippant efforts'. Kikaku wrote of coarser subjects than Bashō, and in this respect his poetry was closer to earlier haikai. Kikaku set the tone for haikai from Bashō's death until the time of Yosa Buson in the late 18th century.
Kikaku left an important historical document, describing Bashō's final days, and the immediate aftermath of his death, which has been translated into English.
In commemoration of the 300th anniversary of Kikaku's death, Nobuyuki Yuasa led an international bilingual (Japanese and English) renku, or collaborative linked poem, which opened with the following hokku by Kikaku:
Springtime in Edo,
Not a day passes without
A temple bell sold.

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