Iza idemu (Let’s Go Out), haiku poem and commentary Matsuo Basho Jokyo 4 (1687)
Iza idemu (Let’s Go Out), haiku poem and commentary
Jokyo 4 (1687)
This work was written upon traditional kaishi paper, and the calligraphy is from the hand of Basho himself.
iza idemu / yukimi ni korobu / tokoro made
let’s go out / and enjoy the snow, until / we tumble over
In early December 1687, Basho was travelling west from Edo when he stopped at a friend’s home in Nagoya for a meal. He was feeling the pleasant effects of the sake he was drinking when it began to snow outside. After a fair amount of snow had accumulated, he composed this poem which suggested going outdoors for a yukimi (“snow viewing”), whilst enjoying the sliding and tumbling that came with this.
In the fifth line from the right, Basho has signed his name using the kana characters “ha-se-o,” which he intended to have read as “basho.” At the time, it was not uncommon to omit the dakuten marks that change the voicing of certain syllables (in this case, a dakuten mark would change the voicing of “ha” to “ba”) for stylistic reasons when writing calligraphy.