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Taneda Santoka

From Academic Kids

Taneda Santoka (種田山頭火, December 3, 1882 - October 11, 1940) is a Japanese author and haiku poet. He is know for his free-verse haiku.

Life

He was born into a sake production family in the Nishisabaryō (now Hōfu), Yamaguchi prefecture. In 1902 he entered the Department of Literature at Waseda University in Tokyo, but dropped out after two years because of illness. He returned home to help with the family business. In 1910 he married and later had one child. In 1911 he first contributed to a haiku magazine "Sekiun" (『層雲』, laying clouds) led by the haiku poet Ogiwara Seisensui. In 1913 he became a disciple of Seisensui.

In 1916 his family's sake business failed. He moved to Kumamoto, Kyushu with his wife and child. In Kumamoto he opened a shop for used books (or antique books) but it was hard for him to run. In 1920 he divorced and moved alone to Tokyo. Three years later after the Great Kanto Earthquake he fled from Tokyo and returned to his ex-wife. Suffering the difficulties of life, he try to commit suicide in 1924 by standing in front of a trolley, but failed. He was helped by the Zen Buddhist priest Mochizuki Gian. He began to work as the servant of Gian's temple. He later became a monk and was named Kōho (耕畝).

In 1925 he left the temple and began a walking trip mainly through western Japan. In 1932 he moved to a small cottage in Ogori, Yamaguchi. In 1939 he moved to Matsuyama. In the next year he died in his sleep in Matsuyama.

Resources

  • Taneda Santōka, For All My Walking, translated by Burton Watson, Columbia University Press, 2003 ISBN 0-231-12516-X cloth ISBN 0-231-12517-8 pbk [102 pp. 245 haiku plus diary entries]
  • Taneda Santōka, Santoka: Grass and Tree Cairn, translated by Hiroaki Sato, Red Moon Press 2002 ISBN 1893959287
  • John Stevens, Mountain Tasting : Zen Haiku by Santoka Taneda, Weatherhill 1980 ISBN 0834801515 [130pp. 372 haiku] emphasizes the Zen aspect of Santoka's life.

External links

ja:種田山頭火
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