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Chapter Summary

The practice of writing death poems was fairly common in pre-modern Japan. Such poems were thought to reflect the spiritual condition of the writer and to indicate his or her readiness for the next existence; typically, they express a tranquil resignation to the inevitability of life's end. However, Yosa Buson was not at peace as he contemplated his death poem. The author's study of Buson's work begins with an exploration of the Bashō Revival. Although they represented only a minority in the haikai community of the day, ultimately it is the Revival poets and their successors, rather than their more popular rivals, who eventually came to be regarded as the central figures of haikai history.

Keywords: Bashō Revival; haikai community; Yosa Buson



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