Seven Haiku Poets

Matsumura Goshun, Japanese, 1752 - 1811

Made in Japan, Asia

Edo Period (1615-1868)

c. 1785

Ink on paper; mounted as a handscroll

10 1/2 x 54 3/4 inches (26.7 x 139.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with funds contributed by Andrea M. Baldeck, M.D. and William M. Hollis, Jr., 1997

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In this scroll, painter Matsumura Goshun pairs each of seven haiku poems (unrhymed verse of three lines containing five, seven, and five syllables respectively) with an imaginary portrait of the poet who composed it. The poems are written in a lively combination of cursive Chinese characters and hiragana (Japanese phonetic script).

List of poets (all Japanese) and translations of poems, from right to left:

Arakida Moritake, 1473-1549
New Year's Day-/The age of the gods/Comes to mind!

Takarai Kikaku, 1661-1707
Bright spring day-/True to their reputation/The cranes promenade.

Matsu Basho, 1644-1694
If only I could hear/From Horai, Ise's/First greeting.

This poem not yet available.

Tan Taigi, 1709-1771
The cormorant in the forest;/The cherry blossoms/Along the evening path.

Yahan (pen name for Yosa Buson), 1716-1783
Spring's sea/Calmly gentle/All day long.

Fukatake (Buddhist priest)
Pleasant memories/Have their abode in the moon-/New Year's Eve.