Ihara Saikaku

(1642 - 9 September 1693 / Osaka)

Ihara Saikaku
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Ihara Saikaku was a Japanese poet and creator of the "floating world" genre of Japanese prose (ukiyo-zōshi). He was a man of many talents. Not only did he have a penchant for poetry, but he had a gift for writing edgy plays and novels with a radical flair. He is known for taking risks in his works.


Born as Hirayama Tōgo (平山藤五), the son of a wealthy merchant in Osaka, he first studied haikai poetry under Matsunaga Teitoku, and later studied under Nishiyama Sōin of the Danrin School of poetry, which emphasized comic linked verse. Scholars have described numerous extraordinary feats of solo haikai composition at one sitting; most famously, over the ... more »

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