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Iga: Matsuo Basho Museum

Written on: Sunday April 25th, 2010

A journal entry from: Mie Prefecture

This was an accidental side trip but awesome nevertheless. A member of our group had found out that there was a museum in Matsuo-san's old house in Iga city. So we wandered over to take a look...

Matsuo Basho was the most famous Japanese poet in the Edo period. In particular he is known for his haiku poems and his works are included in the deck of Karuta cards (a poem recognition game).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karuta

He grew up in Iga and started out as a servant of a local samurai. However after his employers death he travelled across Japan writing poems about his experiences. 

The museum was a wonderful experience with a look into Edu period rooms, a garden with haiku sample and knowledgeable staff. We were fortunate because the museum staff told us about Matsuo-san's life and our Yamasa guide (who is great) translated. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matsuo_Bashō 

There is a Basho festival in October and this year a haiku competition.

http://www.ict.ne.jp/~basho-bp/e-40.html