Ihara Saikaku (Japanese: 井原 西鶴; 1642 – September 9, 1693) was a Japanese poet and creator of the "floating world" genre of Japanese prose (ukiyo-zōshi). is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities Events 1000 - Battle of Svolder, Viking Age. 1379 - Treaty of Neuberg, splitting the Austrian For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. A poet is a person who writes Poetry. Etymology From the Ancient greek: ποιέω, poieō: "I make or compose" Ukiyo ( Japanese: 浮世 "Floating World" described the urban life style especially the pleasure-seeking aspects of Edo Period Japan
Born the son of the wealthy merchant Hirayama Tōgō in Osaka, he first studied haikai poetry under Matsunaga Teitoku, and later studied under Nishiyama Sōin of the Danrin School of poetry, which emphasized comic linked verse. is a city in Japan, located at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, in the Kansai region of the main island of Honshū The Danrin school is a school of Haikai Poetry founded by the poet Nishiyama Sōin. It is rumoured he wrote over 23,500 haikai in one day and night.
Later in life he began writing racy accounts of the financial and amorous affairs of the merchant class and the demimonde. Demimonde was a polite 19th century term that was often used the same way we use the term "mistress" today These stories catered to the whims of the newly prominent merchant class, whose tastes of entertainment leaned toward the arts and pleasure districts.
In 1642, Ihara Saikaku was born into a well off merchant family in Osaka. From the age of fifteen Saikaku had begun to compose haikai (linked verse). In 1662 at the age of twenty Saikaku had become a haikai master. Under the pen name Ihara Kakuei, Saikaku began to establish himself as a popular haikai poet. By 1670 Saikaku had developed his own distinctive style of haikai poetry. In essence his haikai style relied on the use of colloquial language to depict contemporary chonin life. was a social class that emerged in Japan during the early years of the Tokugawa period Furthermore, during this time Saikaku also owned and ran a medium sized business in Osaka.
In 1673 Saikaku had changed his pen name to the one we recognise today. However, the death of his dearly beloved wife in 1675 had an extremely profound impact on Saikaku. A few days after her passing in an act of grief and true love Saikaku started to compose a thousand-verse haikai poem in a matter of twelve hours. When this work was published it was called ‘Haikai Single Day Thousand Verse’ (Haikai Dokugin Ichinichi).
It was the first time that Saikaku had attempted to compose such a lengthy piece of literature. The overall experience and success that Saikaku received from composing such a mammoth exercise has been credited with sparking the writer’s interest in writing fictional novels.
However, shortly after his wife’s death the grief stricken Saikaku had decided to become a lay monk and began to travel all across Japan, thus leaving behind his three children (one of whom was blind) to be cared for by his extended family and his business by his employees. He started his travels after the death of his blind daughter.
In 1677 Saikaku returned to Osaka and had learnt of the success his thousand-verse haikai poem had received and from then on pursued a career as a professional writer. Initially Saikaku continued to produce haikai poetry, but by 1682 he had published his first of many fictional novels ‘The Life of an Amorous Man’.
As Saikaku’s popularity and readership began to increase and expand across Japan so did the amount of literature he published. When he passed away in 1693 at the age of fifty-one Saikaku was one of the most popular writers of the entire Tokugawa period. The, also referred to as the Tokugawa period (徳川時代 Tokugawa-jidai) is a division of Japanese history running from 1603 to 1868 Yet at the time his work was never considered high literature because it had been aimed towards and popularised by the chonin. Nevertheless, Saikaku’s work is now celebrated for its significance for developing Japanese fictional literature.
Ihara Saikaku, "What the Seasons Brought to the Almanac-Maker" (1686)