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Taneda Santōka

(1882-1940). Haiku poet. Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture; studied at Waseda University. In 1925, he became a Buddhist monk of the Sōtō sect, but he left the temple in 1926 to become a mendicant priest. For most of the remainder of his life he was on the road, begging, visiting friends, composing haiku, and writing travel diaries. He is remembered for his anthology containing 701 free-verse haiku, Sōmokutō (1940, Monument of Grass and Trees) and Gochō nikki, a five-volume diary. His best haiku are simple and reflect his love of drink and travel and his appreciation of nature. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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