Kyoun-shu (狂雲集)

"Kyoun-shu" (Crazy Cloud Anthology) is a collection of Chinese poetry by Ikkyu Sojun which presents the insane and unconventional world. Most of the poems are shichigon zekku (a Chinese poem of four lines, each of seven characters), and "Kyoun" is a pen name of Ikkyu.


The collection contains the poems which showed his respect for Buddha and forerunners, while there are poems about violating the Buddhist precepts and self-hatred. Moreover, it also includes poems concerning his seeking after truth in Buddhism, and poems about his indulging in sensual pleasures, so the collection has a variety of unusual poems as the title suggests. However, it circulated among many people as preaching taking the form of poetry. Ikkyu pretended to be a crazy person with a romantic turn of mind, and wandered about entertainment areas, but people saw him as a person rising above the vulgar herd in certain respects. He had an influence not on what is called kangaku (national university) of gosan (Zen temples highly ranked by the government), but on common people, experts in the tea ceremony, linked-verse poets and cultured people. Kyoun-shu had already existed during the Onin era (1467 - 1468), but it was put on the stage again in 1642, 160 years after his death, when "Gunsho ruiju" (Collection of historical documents compiled by Hokiichi HANAWA) was published, then Ikkyu's preaching spread due to Ikkyu's witty stories.

[Original Japanese]