Basho, one of the greatest of Japanese poets and the master of haiku, was also a Buddhist monk and a life-long traveller.
Basho was born near Kyoto in 1644. A poet and diarist, he spent his youth as companion to the son of the local lord, and with him studied the writing of poetry. In 1667 he moved to Edo (now Tokyo) and continued to write verse. Eventually, he became a recluse. His writings are strongly influenced by the Zen sect of Buddhism. Lucien Stryk is a well-known translator.