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Matsuo Basho, Haiku and Yamagata


奥の細道 松尾芭蕉 山寺

Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum

The Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum was established in 1989 to commemorate the 100th year since the founding of the modern city of Yamagata in 1889. This year also marked the 300th anniversary of Matsuo Basho’s visit to Yamadera in 1689, which took place during his Oku no Hosomichi journey to the Tohoku and Hokuriku regions.

Displayed in the exhibition rooms are items including works from the hand of Basho himself, materials related to the Oku no Hosomichi journey and subsequently published travel narrative, and the calligraphic works and paintings of Basho’s disciples. The historical value of the items in the museum collection is widely recognized not only within Japan, but also throughout the world. In addition to the permanent exhibit, special exhibitions are held periodically, with the museum curator and volunteer staff available for explanation and guidance.

The main building containing the exhibition areas also has numerous study rooms available for gatherings such as poetry sessions and study seminars. Tea ceremonies may be held in the large kanpo-tei tatami room, and a separate building houses the Basho-do tearoom, where visitors may enjoy traditional matcha tea service in the ryureiseki style, which uses tables and chairs instead of tatami mats. Built primarily with Kyoto’s famous Kitayama cedar, the museum’s study rooms and tea rooms are constructed in the sukiya-zukuri tea house style. The museum itself is situated on a hilltop which offers visitors a panoramic view of the Risshakuji temple complex and the changing seasonal beauty of the surrounding mountainside.

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