Kobayashi Issa

(1763 - 1827 / Kashiwabara / Japan)

Kobayashi Issa
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Kobayashi Nobuyki (Issa) was born in Kashiwabara, Shinano province, to a farming family and began writing in his childhood, which was marred by misfortune and sadness, his mother died and his father remarried resulting in torment at the hands of his step mother and step brother.

In 1777 he was despatched to Tokyo to study the Haiku form under such masters as Sogan and Chikua. He was forced to support himself by taking menial jobs before gaining entry into the Kasushika poetry school. At the age of 28 he was to be given a teaching post at the school but lasted just a year after it became clear that his modern style of haiku did not suit the clerical confines that were expected of ... more »

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  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (11/11/2016 8:19:00 AM)

    After Kobayashi Issa’s death, haiku poetry began a steady descent into mediocrity... until Masaoka Shiki saved it

  • Glen Kappy Glen Kappy (1/31/2016 5:08:00 PM)

    my favorite among the great haiku triumvirate. so human. i became familiar with him through robert hass's the essential haiku and recommend it heartily. i don't usually buy books when i can borrow them, but i bought this one to refer to over and over. -glen kappy

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (11/5/2015 4:15:00 AM)

    Basho, Issa Kobayashi, Buson, Shiki..4 shining stars..!

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