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on 29 July 2017
genius
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on 1 January 2013
This is an excellent collection of poems and anecdotes by and about the Zen Buddhist monk, hermit, poet and calligrapher Ryōkan (1758-1831 CE) who, along with Basho, Buson, and Issa, is regarded as one of the greatest poets of the Edo Period (1603 - 1868 CE). This work by Kazuaki Tanahashi (who is an accomplished Japanese calligrapher, Zen teacher, author and translator), is a most welcome addition to the works available by and about Ryokan.

Tanahashi provides a useful biography of Ryokan, placing him in his time and context; a selection of poems (more than 140), divided into various periods in Ryokan's life (with explanatory notes where required); a collection of anecdotes about Ryokan; and a look at both Ryokan's poetic forms and calligraphy (including a number of illustrations).

Here is one of Ryokan's haiku to whet your appetite:

Falling blossoms.
Blossoms in bloom are also
falling blossoms.

Tanahashi has produced a great collection. I only wish it could have been a larger collection but I guess until there is a readily available "Complete, Fully Illustrated, Ryokan Collection" we fans will continue to derive great pleasure from the various shorter collections available.

Also of interest may be One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan and The Great Fool: Zen Master Ryokan - Poems, Letters and Other Writings, both of which I also recommend.
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on 27 October 2013
straight to the point
now hitting the keyboard
Ryokan at my side
and I at his
no-one there
the wind dropping rain on the widowpane
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on 13 March 2014
The writer was a very creative and warm person. The poems are so special and they really touch our hearts.
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on 28 January 2014
Simple and profound, spacious and uplifting. Would recommend to anybody needing some spiritual nourishment. Ryokan is a recent discovery for which I am truly grateful.
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on 31 March 2016
A brilliant book for the haiku lover. Amusing and informative.
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on 9 October 2015
Good condition and as described. thankyou
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