Shiki's self-portrait

Shiki is a famous poet in modern Japan. He reformed haiku and tanka and prose.
He was born in Matsuyama on September 17, 1867, the year before the Meiji Restoration.
As Matsuyama district surrendered to the new government at the battle of the Meiji Restoration, the loser's fellowship was formed by those young people.
He came to Tokyo to study when he was 16 years old. After 9 years,he started the innovative movement of literature with his lots friends.
He died in 35 years old because of the tuberculosis.His literary activities were done for only 10 years.
But his activities gave Japanese modern literature a big influence.
Next haiku is famous as his last poem.

Hechima sai-te tan-no tsumari-shi hotoke-kana

Loofah flower blooming
Hotoke's phlegm
stuck in his throat

Hotoke means Buddha. But it means the person who is dying, too. Hotoke is Shiki himself who is about to die. Here is a poet who tries to understand even his death by his "kokkei" spirit. He try to smile by his deth.

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