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Kawahigashi Hekigoto

Kawahigashi Hekigoto (1873-1937) was the son of a samurai and Confucian scholar. His real name was "Heigorou". He was in the same class in Iyo Ordinary Junior High School as Kyoshi Takahama.

Hekigoto was known for his style which was known as "the new trend of haiku." He is one of the most prominent students of haiku master Masaoka Shiki along with Kyoshi.

Short Biography

Kawahigashi Hekigoto was a mountain climber, calligrapher, Noh dancer, traveler, journalist, critic, and poet. After Shiki's death, Hekigoto succeeded him as the editor of the newspaper Nihon (Nippon) and briefly became the most important figure in Japanese haiku.

Hekigoto followed Shiki's radical haiku thoughts in haik uof abandoning traditional haiku rules except the 5-7-5 count of onji and the kigo (season word). As well, he went a step farther and abandoned the 5-7-5 rule in favor of "free verse." Nonetheless, he continued using the kigo as a connection to the natural world.

As a haiku master, his students under him began even more radical experiments by abandoning the kigo. After Kyoshi's return to poetry, Hekigoto was caught between both world's of traditional and radical haiku.

Before his death, he became more devoted to the study of traditional haiku, especially Yosa Buson.

Haiku by Kawahigashi

  • From a bathing tub
  • I throw water into the lake -
  • slight muddiness appears.
  • far fireworks
  • sounding, otherwise
  • not a thing
  • red camellia
  • white camellia
  • falling down

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