Shiki Masaoka

Gudabutsuan

After recuperating in Suma near Kobe, in 1895, Shiki came back to his home town Matsuyama. At that time Soseki Natsume was in Matsuyama, teaching English at Matsuyama juior high school. Later Soseki became one of the greatest modern novelists in Japan. Since they were good friends in Tokyo University, Shiki stayed with Soseki in Soseki`s rented house. Soseki called the house Gudabutsuan. Gudabutsu means a stupid Buddha in Japanese. He lived upstairs and Shiki lived downstairs.

The 50 days of their living together was epoch-making in the history of modern Japanese literature. Many friends who were enthusiastic haiku poets visited Shiki there, and they had haiku gatherings led by Shiki ,where they composed and hotly debated the merits of their haiku. Soseki also joined them and he was very much influenced by their passion for literature. He was able to know the joy of literary creation.

We can say the great author Soseki`s first step to his writing was made from the Gudabutsuan. .................


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