Matsuo Bashō

The single poet who did most to establish hokku as serious poetry was Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694), still perhaps Japan’s best loved poet. A professional poet, Bashō travelled his country widely and left behind him a canon of poetry, some important contributions to the genre of poetic travel diaries and a great number of former pupils, some of whom continued to compose in his style, while others went on to develop styles of their own, broadening the nature of haiku and expanding its popularity.

'Simply moving and elegant'