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.


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, 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 (西行), meaning “W...
Read Full Biography of Saigyo

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 ...
Read All Poems

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

Read All Quotes

Comments about Saigyo

0rpheusshould: tightly held by rocks through winter, the ice today begins to come undone: a way-seeker also is the water, melting, murmuring from the moss. saigyo, mirror for the moon
Mkimdorman: the willow is bare the clear stream has dried, and stones lie scattered here and there -saigyō (tr. gail sher)
Shirasagih2: goodbye innocence
Jumphavoc: obito is such a nice person. he let fiesta 3-0 graveyard shift :)
Lumaacee: why is this game so lgbt friendly like look at the pose lol
Read All Comments

Write your comment about Saigyo

Poem of the day

William Blake Poem
The Little Boy Lost
 by William Blake

Father, father, where are you going
O do not walk so fast.
Speak father, speak to your little boy
Or else I shall be lost,

The night was dark no father was there
The child was wet with dew.
The mire was deep, & the child did weep

Read complete poem

Popular Poets