Nozawa Bonchō was born in the city of Kanazawa in Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture. Though he worked most of his life as a doctor in Kyoto, Bonchō never made much money. He became one of Matsuo Bashō’s foremost disciples, which saved him when he was convicted of smuggling: due to his reputation as a poet, he was merely exiled instead of having his nose cut off. His work is evocative of his teacher: I particularly like the suspense of the following haiku.
Such an eerie sound—
the scarecrow has fallen down
by itself, I hope…
—Translated by David Bowles, April 2015
mono no oto