Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The following photos show Niigata City's Basho Monument, a site commemorating haiku founder Matsuo Basho's visit to the city on 16 August, 1689. During their 奥の細道 pilgrimage, Basho and travelling companion Sora spent little time in Niigata, regarding Echigo Province (as Niigata was then known) as an unavoidable evil to be endured. During the three weeks Basho and Sora followed the treacherous "North Country Road" along the Japan Sea coast, only one poem was composed. On August 18, Basho wrote the following poem at the small port of Izumozaki.
O'er wild ocean spray/ All the way to Sado Isle/ Spreads the Milky Way!