Matsuo Basho’s Creative Haibun: State of the Art

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Aju Mukhopadhyay


Basho was the key figure who elevated haikai from an entertaining pastime to a respected poetic form. He had developed a set of related poetic ideals widely utilised by his disciples, fellow poets, and successive followers since the mid-1680s. It looked to the past for inspiration and authority and yet rejected it. It parodied the classical (and Chinese) tradition even as they sought to become part of it. It paid homage to the 'ancients' and yet stressed newness. The haikai Basho created was marked by its freshness though it was not delinked from the Japanese and Chinese past.


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Aju Mukhopadhyay. “Matsuo Basho’s Creative Haibun: State of the Art”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 2, no. 5, Dec. 2017, pp. 328-34,
Research Articles


Haibun Today; Volume 6, Number 1, March 2012

Haruo Shirane. "Beyond the Haiku Moment: Basho, Buson and Modern Haiku Myths", Modern Haiku, XXXI:1 (winter-spring 2000). (

Shirane as above

Oku no Hosomichi (

Quoted in “Basho’s Journey: A Rumination” by Jamie Edgecombe (Part One) in the World Haiku Review; August 2011 ( journey)

Jamie Edgecombe as above.

Hass, Robert (ed) (1994): The Essential Haiku, The Ecco press, New Jersey. p.233

Jamie Edgecombe, as above

Quoted in Jamie Edgecombe (quotes the Knapsack Notebook) from: AC Barnhill, David L (2005): Basho's Journey: The Literary Prose Of Matsuo Basho, State University of New York Press, NYC. Basho’s Poetic Spaces (33)

Prayers and Meditations. The Mother. Collected Works. Centenary Edition. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram. V-1. p.359

Jamie Edgecombe, as above

“Haibun Today”; Volume 9, No. 2, June 2015 (

“Haibun Today” as referred above.