Kobayashi Issa, Kobayashi Issa poetry, Buddhist, Buddhist poetry, Zen / Chan poetry,  poetry,  poetry Kobayashi Issa
Japan (1763 - 1828) Timeline
Buddhist : Zen / Chan

Poems by Kobayashi Issa
Books - Links

Kobayashi Issa, or simply Issa, is one of Japan's best known and appreciated haiku poets.

Issa was born in Kashiwabara, in what is now part of the Nagano Prefecture in Japan. His father was a farmer. Issa's mother died when the boy was very young and his father soon remarried. Issa's stepmother mistreated him and, when he was fourteen, Issa was sent to Edo (Tokyo) where he studied haiku.

Although he gained some notoriety for his poetry early on, he struggled to get by financially and had to travel and work hard until he was in his fifties.

Though Issa's life was filled with struggles -- the death of his mother at an early age, the conflicts with his stepmother, his poverty, and the death of his own children -- his haiku tend to celebrate the serene joys and simple spiritual moments of life.

Poems by Kobayashi Issa

Recommended Books: Kobayashi Issa

The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology) This Dance of Bliss: Ecstatic Poetry from Around the World Zen Poetry: Let the Spring Breeze Enter The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry Haiku Enlightenment: New Expanded Edition
The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library) A Box of Zen: Haiku the Poetry of Zen, Koans the Lessons of Zen, Sayings the Wisdom of Zen The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy

Related Links

Kobayashi Issa

Brief biography on-line.

Haiku of Kobayashi Issa

An excellent website with a searchable archive of more than 7,000 of Issa's haiku translated by David Lanoue, daily haiku email, and more. Worth a visit!
Kobayashi Issa