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.