Leading haiku poet of the late 18th century and, with Basho and Issa, one of the great names in haiku. Also known as Yosa Buson or Taniguchi Buson. Also a distinguished Bunjinga(literati-style) painter, he perfected haiga ("haiky sketch") as a branch of Japanese pictorial art. His best-known painting disciple, Matsumura Goshun, also known as Gekkei, founded the Shijo school.
Born near Osaka, as a youth Buson went to Edo (now Tokyo). For five years (1737-42) he belonged to a haikai linked-verse circle over which Hayano Hajin (1676-1742) presided. Here he learned the traditions of the Basho school haikai as transmitted by Hattori Ransetsu and Takarai Kikaku. After Hajin's death Buson spent much time around Yuki, north of edo, where he painted, practiced haikai, and worte Hokuju Rosen wo itamu (Elegy to the old poet Hokuju), the first of his innovative poems that foreshadow modern free verse. Buson also visited places in northeastern Japan famed in Basho's poetic diary, Oku No Hosomichi (1694; tr The Narrow Road to the Deep North, 1966).
Buson settled in Kyoto in the late 1750s. He was active in Mochizuki Sooku's (1688-1766) poetry circle and was also actively painting in the Chinese-inspired bunjinga style. By practicing both poetry and painting, he aspired to the ideals of the bunjin (Ch: wen-ren or wen-jen; literati) of China. One of Buson's commissions involved collaborating with Ike No Tagia on a landscape series based on Chinese poems, Juben jugi (1771, Ten Conven..