I visited to the Basyo memorial hall in Fukagawa. Basho Matsuo (1644-1694) was the greatest poet of Haiku (a Japanese poem of 17 syllables, in 3 lines of 5-7-5) in Japan. Other poets learn from Basyo, hoped to go over him, and finally returned him. He had moved to live at the Fukagawa’s small hermitage and had gone to travel and returned several times.
At first, you can see a tall glass of basho (a Japanese banana plant) in front of gate. At the second floor, there is a Basho’s stone frog that I went here for seeing (inside hall, we can’t take photos). We learned his haiku “Furuike-ya, Kawazu tobikomu, Mizunooto” (In the old pond, I heard the sound (a) frog(s) jumped into it) in the elementary school, and it was so funny for me to appear a frog in the poem that he remained in my mind as “uncle frog”.
In the garden, going up the stairs, you can watch a stone hut that imaged Basho’s house, and then wonderful view of River Sumida and the Kiyosu bridge.
Through the back gate, you can go through the bank where are many pictures of Basho’s travel. Enjoying view of Sumida and pictures, I arrived at small park of Basyo memorial on the hill in a few minutes. At the center of the park, I was able to met Basho’s statue. Surprisingly, it automatically moves to turn on the river side at 17:00 everyday.
During the walking from Kira’s former residence, I enjoyed watching the life of Tokyo’s downtown that still seemed as the nostalgic old town, wooden houses which have flower pots in front of the gate, many bottlenecks, housewife or students riding bicycles instead of cars and a canal that was constructed in Edo period. I was surprised that there were small shrines on the each street. I guess the town’s people have been taking care of them. At Kira’s residence, I met a volunteer who cleaned it one by one, that remained to look after a relic of the past.
Basyo became a god, and there is a Basho shrine near the statue. They were able to find a missing Basho’s stone frog here, so they thought Basho lived here, and this place was selected as Basho shrine.