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Matsuo Bashō
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Poet
    (1644-November 28, 1694)
    Born in Iga Province, Japan
    Birth name was Matsuo Kinsaku
    Known (especially in the West) for his haiku
    Wrote the prose and verse travel diary 'Oku no Hosomichi' ('The Narrow Road to the Interior; published posthumously, 1702)
    He lived in huts built by his disciples.
    He was involved in same-sex affairs with several of his disciples.
    He would become reclusive and refuse to see anyone for months at a time.
    He was deified by the Shinto bureaucracy (1793), making criticism of him literally blasphemous.
    His poetry was praised for its simple and natural style.
    His poems are reproduced on many monuments in Japan.
    He influenced Ezra Pound and the Beat Generation.
    A crater on Mercury was named after him.

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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