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An Unarmed Blossom Guard: Hokku 1771–1783

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Chapter Summary

In 1770 Yosa Buson assumed the leadership of Yahantei, the haikai school founded by his teacher Hayano Hajin in 1742. Yahantei had been dormant since Hajin's death, despite the fact that other Hajin disciples could conceivably have re-established it at some point during the 30-odd years that intervened. Buson's anxieties about his own abilities may have contributed to the long delay in opening his own haikai school, as his hokku "The role of a blossom guard" (Hana mori no) indicates. The first publication of Buson's Yahantei school was the new year anthology Spring in Meiwa 8. Takai Kitō was an ambitious and talented haikai poet. Kitō included both old and new Buson hokku in Dawn crow. Five cartloads of wastepaper brings together the work of many poets who were supporters of the Revival movement.

Keywords: blossom guard; Dawn crow; hokku; Takai Kitō; Yahantei school; Yosa Buson



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