Kurobane and Matsou Basho

Matsuo Bashō (1644 – November 28, 1694),  was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as a master of brief and clear haiku. His poetry is internationally renowned, and in Japan many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites. 

On May 16, 1689 he left Edo with his student and apprentice Kawai Sora  on a journey to the Northern Provinces of Honshū. During this 150-day journey Bashō traveled a total of 2,400 km through the northeastern areas of Honshū, returning to Edo in late 1691.  He completed the log of his journey. He edited and redacted it for three years, writing the final version in 1694 as The Narrow Road to the Interior.

During this time he spent 2 weeks in Kurobane  which is close to where I live. 
Kurobane has also a number of shrines throughout the town, some lovely old building and numerous “Haiku” stones throughout the area.

Also of note is the house that Basho stayed in in 1689 is still there, untended, un-renovated… but still decrepitly standing despite earthquakes weather and time!

Kurobane is also famous for its Hydrangeas (ajisai) which grow in the grounds of the old castle and throughout the town

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