Santoka Taneda

(1882-1940 / Japan)

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Taneda Santōka (3 December 1882 - 11 October 1940) was the pen-name of a Japanese author and haiku poet. He is known for his free verse haiku.

As an exponent of free style haiku, Santōka is often ranked alongside Ozaki Hōsai, a fellow student of Seisensui. They both suffered from the ill effects of their drinking habits and were similar in their reliance on Seisensui and ... more »

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  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (6/5/2016 11:57:00 AM)

    Yama areba yama o miru
    ame no hi ame o kiku
    haru natsu aki fuyu
    ashita mo yoroshi
    yūbe mo yoroshi

    '' If there are mountains, I look at the mountains;
    On rainy days I listen to the rain.
    Spring, summer, autumn, winter.
    Tomorrow too will be good.
    Tonight too is good ''

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (6/5/2016 11:55:00 AM)

    - Santōka and the influence of Seisensui Ogiwara (1884-1976) , the founder of thejiyūritsu, or freestyle, school of haiku:

    Following the death of Shiki (18671903) , who had revitalized and revolutionized the world of haiku, there were two main streams in the haiku world: one working in a more or less traditional form using modern themes, and the other, the shinkeikō, or new-development, movement, which abandoned the standard 5-7-5 syllable pattern and the obligatory use of a word to indicate the season, or kigo. In April 1911 Seisensui established the magazine Sōun to expound the theory that it is necessary for a poet to express what is in his heart in his own language without regard to any fixed form. Seisensui felt that haiku should be an impression of one's inner experiences; individual symbolism is most important. Seisensui stressed jiyū (freedom) , jiko (self) , and shizen (nature) , together with the elements of chikara (strength) and hikari (brightness) , for his new haiku. Seisensui was influenced by European literature, especially Goethe and Schiller, and his poetry was essentially a combination of Japanese sensitivity and Western expressionism. However, it was neither agnostic nor scientific like much of the other new haiku. Haiku is a way rather than mere literature or art. Such a highly individualistic and subjective theory was criticized by many traditionalists, but it greatly appealed toSantōka. Beginning in 1913, Santōka became one of the main contributors to Sōun and the free-style school.

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (6/5/2016 11:47:00 AM)

    Santōka is considered to be a great Zen master much like Ikkyū, Hakuin, and Ryōkan, being his work filled with
    the special Zen qualities of simplicity (wabi) , solitude (sabi) , and impermanence (mujō) conveyed in a modern setting by his haiku.
    Santōka's life embodies the Zen spirit in three ways.
    - First, since his life and poetry were one, he represents the ideal of ''no duplicity''
    - Second, he did not mimic anyone else. In Japan, the life of a wandering poet is considered the most impermanent, irregular, and individualistic of all occupations. It is a life of freedom from everything: material possessions, mental concepts, social norms.
    - Third is Santōka's simplicity of expression. In his verses there is no pretense, no artificiality. They can be understood at once without analysis. Sharp and direct, Santōka's haiku epitomize Zen writing: pure experience, free of intellectual coloring.

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (6/5/2016 11:40:00 AM)

    Santōka's poems are generally admired for their unadorned style, representative of the ''new haiku movement''

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Best Poem of Santoka Taneda

Flowing With Water

flowing with water
I walked down to the village
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the sunlight freely reflects off
my freshly shaven head
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within life and death
snow falls ceaselessly
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I walk in the winds
brightness and darkness
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Read the full of Flowing With Water

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