c. 1680 | Edo

Tonight’s Moon, Tomorrow’s Hangover

The morning after among the cherry blossoms.

A man that eats
his meal amidst morning glories—
that’s what I am!


On a blue sea,
waves fragrant with rice wine:
tonight’s moon


A hangover:
but while the cherries bloom,
what of it?

Image of Japanese haiku poet Matsuo Bashō.

Matsuo Basho

Three haikus. Born into the samurai class in 1644, Basho at the age of nine entered the service of a local lord and soon began writing poems. He went to Edo at the age of twenty-nine to pursue his interest in poetry, becoming a lay monk in 1679, the same year he began composing in the “new style” of haiku that he revolutionized. At his death in 1694, Basho is said to have had around two thousand associates who aligned themselves with his teachings.