- 近世文藝 (ISSN:03873412)
- vol.108, pp.17-36, 2018 (Released:2019-01-31)
It is often said that Nishiyama-Sōin, the master of renga linked verse, had started rendering haiku poems as a hobby since he became a Buddhist priest. This article will point out the falsehood of this view to review what it was to make renga and haiku poems in his literary and religious career. He actually started haiku not as a hobby but for a more practical purpose; he became so much engaged in social intercourse after entering the priesthood that he exploited haiku to facilitate his public life. This is why he used a different poetical pseudonym according to whom he entertained. Taking advantage of the rise of Ōbaku, the third sect of Zen Buddhism, Sōin gained a good reputation as a haiku poet with his songs of the culture of western Japan. Meanwhile he also continued to play a leading role in the renga circle of Ise Shrine. In short, he shrewdly adopted a double persona as a renga master and as a haiku poet to attain secular popularity.