poetry

What Is This Traditional Japanese Form of Poetry Called “Shigin”?

Shigin (詩吟) is a form of art in which a person recites a Japanese or Chinese poem in the Japanese language by chanting. This is done in front of a large audience, a few friends, or even to one’s self. It has a rich history and is often practiced by the elderly rather than the…

Following the Yamagata Mountain Pilgrimage of One of Japan’s Greatest Poets

The Mountain Temple has long been synonymous with haiku master Matsuo Basho (松尾芭蕉) and his immortal travel log, Oku no Hosomichi (奥の細道; The Narrow Road into the Deep North). Its very name evokes feelings of mystery and tranquility. Situated in the Yamagata (山形) region of the beautiful Tohoku (東北), Yamadera (山寺), meaning “mountain temple”, is…