Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

A woman crossed the stream

and on her leg

flowering riverweed!

Morikawa Kyoriku

From Seikaskū Kitō was Buson’s chief disciple and this collection, which he edited himself, is one the best of all late 18th century collections of haiku. The novelist Ueda Akinari, who was Kitō’s close friend, contributed an enthusiastic preface under his haikai pen name of Muchō, saying “When you open this book, its colors blind you with their brilliance.” There is faint eroticism to this picture of flower-ing riverweed clinging to the calf of a woman who has walked across a stream, “The pleasure/of cross-ing a summer stream!/Sandals in hand”(natsukawa wo / kosu ureshisa yo / te ni zōri), by Kitō’s master Buson, expresses the joys of a different Kind of sen-suality, Kitō was a famous drinker and an accom-plished calligrapher who prepared the manuscript for his collection in his own hand.

川越えしKawa koeshi女の脛にonna no hagi ni花藻かなhanamo kana

高井几董(たかい きとう)

『井華集』所収。几董は与謝蕪村の高弟で、自選の『井華集』は天明俳壇屈指の句集。この句集に序文を書いているのは、几董の親しい友だった無腸すなわち上田秋成で「巻をひらけば彩色まばゆきばかりなり」と絶讃した。川を歩いて渡った女の脛にまといついた藻の花、そのほのかな色気。几董の師蕪村の「夏河を越すうれしさよ手に草履」とはおのずとまた別の官能のよろこびがある。彼は有名な酒徒で、書をよくし、句集坂下も自筆だった。