Carpe Diem #1161 Matsuyama City birth-place of Masaoka Shiki

Carpe Diem #1161 Matsuyama City birth-place of Masaoka Shiki

This month at Carpe Diem I’m exploring the “Motherland” of haiku, Japan.

Today we are taking a look at Matsuyama City birth-place of Masaoka Shiki.


Photo Credit – Masaoka Shiki.

Masaoka Shiki October 14, 1867 – September 19, 1902), pen-name of Masaoka Noboru.

He was a Japanese poet, author, and literary critic in Meiji period Japan.

Shiki is regarded as a major figure in the development of modern haiku poetry.

He also wrote on reform of tanka poetry.

Some consider Masaoka Shiki to be one of the four great haiku masters, the others being Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, and Kobayashi Issa, which I have written about in the last couple of weeks

Shiki suffered from tuberculosis (TB) much of his life.

In 1888 or 1889 he began coughing up blood and soon adopted the pen-name Shiki from the Japanese hototogisu, which is a word usually translated as cuckoo.

It is a Japanese concept that this bird coughs blood as it sings, which explains why the name “Shiki” was adopted.

He died of Tuberculosis in 1902 at age 34.

Shiki, or rather Tsunenori as he was originally named was born in Matsuyama City in Iyo province (present day Ehime prefecture) it is in northwestern Shikoku, Japan.

The capital is Matsuyama.


Photo Credit – Matsuyama castle

Matsuyama Castle is a flatland-mountain castle that was built in 1603 on Mount Katsuyama, whose height is 132 meters, in Matsuyama city in Ehime Prefecture in Japan

After the Battle of Sekigahara, the Tokugawa shogun gave the area to his allies, including Kato Yoshiaki who built Matsuyama Castle, forming the basis for the modern city of Matsuyama.


Photo Credit – Matsuyama-Panorama.

A panoramic view of the city from Matsuyama Castle

My tanka poem using the study of Masaoka Shiki as a prompt

modern haiku poems

was masaoka shiki

died very young with tb

its sad nature can be hard

look that bridge is in heaven



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