Crow and Blossom
Ohara Koson, ca. 1910, Woodblock print
ka hana ni akeyuku
Are you happy?
Blossoms at dawn
The crows fly
Oshima Ryota, 1718 – 1787
One of the most influential of eighteenth-century haikai masters, who had some three thousand students all over Japan during Edo era. Forty of them were practicing poets. Several daimyo houses were also his clients. He had several houses in provinces as branch schools. He could afford to travel by palanquin accompanied by a few assistants. He was a disciple of haiku poet Hattori Ransetsu, which was a disciple of Basho.
Oshima Ryota published 200 books of poems. But hardly a single poem has survived the time. In 1759 he published „Basho kukai“ (Notes on Basho’s hokku), containing his critical remarks on eighty-six hokkus by Basho. He recorded his ideas on hakai in „Basho Shichibu Sagashi“ („Gleanings from the Seven Collections of Basho“).