Ryokan 1758-1831

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Ryokan 1758-1831 was born in the cold, isolated Chigo (now Nigata) province in the village of 出雲崎 Izumozaki on the Japan Sea. His father was a merchant and village headman, and a famous haiku poet, who himself chucked his business and family life and disappeared on the road.

At the age of twelve Ryokan became a Buddhist monk at a local Zen temple, and then left to train twelve years with a master, cultivating as well the study of Chinese poetry and calligraphy. After the death of his master, Ryokan traveled as a pilgrim for five years. He returning to his native village at the age of fourty, and settled himself in an abandoned shack on Kugamisan. There he stayed for most of the remaining 20 years of his life.

Ryokan named his hermitage the Gogo-an. A 'gogo' is half a sho, the amount of rice necessary for daily sustenance. The word 'an' means hermitage.

A Thousand Cold Cloud Peaks 千峰涼雲合
As I sit, Leaves Fall 坐時聞落葉
Ball Bouncing つきてみよ
Black Robed Monk 緇衣人
Bright Moon In The East 良寬
Day After Day 日日日日
Deep In the Mountains 深山
Endless Winter Nights 冬夜長
Lucid Mind 心清
Spending Night Alone on Solitary Peak 孤峰獨宿夜
Together Then Apart 相逢又相別
Who Calls My Poems Poems?! 誰我詩謂詩
Yellow Plum Drizzle 黃梅雨

Related Items:
Kugamisan 國上山
Gogoan 五合庵
Guojoji 國上寺
Kongobuji 金剛峰寺
Japan 日本
Niigataken 新潟県