Who is Saigyo

Saigyō Hōshi (西行 法師, 1118 – March 23, 1190) was a famous Japanese poet of the late Heian and early Kamakura period.

Biography Born Satō Norikiyo (佐藤 義清) in Kyoto to a noble family, he lived during the traumatic transition of power between the old court nobles and the new samurai warriors. After the start of the Age of Mappō (1052), Buddhism was considered to be in decline and no longer as effective a means of salvation. These cultural shifts during his lifetime led to a sense of melancholy in his poetry. As a youth, he worked as a guard to retired Emperor Toba, but in 1140 at age 22, for reasons now unknown, he quit worldly life to become a monk, taking the religious name En'i (円位). He later took the pen name, "Saigyō" meaning...
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Saigyo Poems

  • Having Seen Them Long
    Having seen them long,
    I hold the flowers so dear
    That when they scatter
    I find it all the more sad ...
  • How Wonderful
    How wonderful, that
    Her heart
    Should show me kindness;
    And of all the numberless folk, ...
  • Thought I Was Free
    Thought I was free
    of passion, so this melancholy
    comes as surprise:
    a woodcock shoots up from the marsh ...
  • Unbroken Gloom.
    times when unbroken
    gloom is over all our world
    over which still
    sits the ever brilliant moon ...
  • Limitations Gone
    limitations gone
    since my mind fixed on the moon
    clarity and serenity
    make something for which ...
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Top 10 most used topics by Saigyo

Moon 5 Wind 3 Grief 2 Sad 2 Autumn 2 Heart 2 Mountain 2 Hold 1 Cloud 1 Wild 1

Saigyo Quotes

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Comments about Saigyo

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  • U_kuniyoshi: actors sawamura chôjûrô v as saigyô viewing mount fuji (above), ichikawa kuzô ii as a footman with a black kite stealing a fish (below right), and iwai kumesaburô iii as a woman of Ôhara (below left), circa 1847-52
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Poem of the day

Alfred Lord Tennyson Poem
In Memoriam A. H. H.: 54. Oh, Yet We Trust That Somehow Goo
 by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Oh, yet we trust that somehow good
Will be the final end of ill,
To pangs of nature, sins of will,
Defects of doubt, and taints of blood;
That nothing walks with aimless feet;
That not one life shall be destroy'd,
Or cast as rubbish to the void,
When God hath made the pile complete;

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