Sarumino (Monkeys Raincoat) (猿蓑)

Sarumino is a collection of Shomon (Basho School) which contains hokku (the first lines of waka poems) and renku (linked verses) and was edited by Kyorai MUKAI and Boncho NOZAWA. Basho MATSUO stayed in Kyoto both from May to July of 1691, and supervised "Sarumino."
The title was derived from a poem composed by Basho, 'The first rain in late autumn, even a monkey seems to want komino (raincoat).'
This book is one of the Seven Canonical Collections of Haikai by the Bash School. It is considered the best collection of poems by Shomon.


In 1690, Basho moved to the Genjuan (hut of the phantom dwelling), spent the next spring Mumyoan (house of anonymity) in Awazu, and in April he stayed at Rakushisha (fallen persimmon house) in Saga. Basho's style of haikai (seventeen-syllable verse) was completely changed during his trip to the Tohoku Region. Kyorai was taught the new style, and planned to edit a collection of poems that would represent the new style created after his trip. That collection was 'Sarumino' and the poems seem to have been selected very carefully. According to 'Kyoraisho' (Conversations with Kyorai) and 'Koto Mondo,' Kyorai and Boncho held an enthusiastic discussion, while Basho also pointed out Kyorai's carelessness frankly. The 'Hanaya Diary' states that after the selection of poems for 'Sarumino' and a recitation was held, Basho especially ordered Toba no bundai (a tiny wooden desk) from Fukagawa. In fact, Basho considered that 'Sarumino' was a collection that was to be a good example for posterity, so it is imagined that he advised and instructed his disciples more enthusiastically than ever.


It contains 382 hokku (41 poems by Basho, 25 by Kyorai, 25 by Kikaku TAKARAI, 42 by Boncho) and 4 volumes of Renku Kasen (thirty-six verse comic linked verse) (1 volume by Kyorai, Basho, Boncho, and Fumikuni NAKAMURA; 1 volume by Boncho, Basho, and Kyorai; 1 volume by Boncho, Basho, Yasui OKADA, and Kyorai; 1 volume by Basho, Otokuni KAWAI, Chinseki HAMADA, 素男, and others), Genjuan ki, Kiyu Diary, a preface written by Kikaku and a postscript by Joso NAITO.

This has been considered very important since olden times, and Kyoriku MORIKAWA said, 'Sarumino is the Kokinshu (abbreviation for Kokin Wakashu - A Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry) of haikai, therefore the beginner of haikai should read Sarumino first,' ('Uda no Hoshi'), while Shiko KAGAMI said, 'Sarumino is the best collection ever' ('Hotsugan bun' - vow), and Fukoku ITO stated that 'the spirit of shohu (Basho style) has been revealed' (the preface to 'Hakusen shu' - Collection of Hakusen).
Kyokusai said, '風調は地を専にして風韻を主とし, it is elegant unlike 'Fuyu no hi' (a day in winter), and a tune is against 'Hisago' (Gourd), so it is the best haikai collection in this country and will survive for a long time.' ('Bashinroku' - collection of grandmotherly solicitude)
It is a collection compiled while the idea of wabi (taste for the simple and quiet) and sabi (tranquility) matured most, expressing yugen (subtle and profound beauty) kanjaku (quiet), so both hokku and renku in the collection are the best models in the whole country.

[Original Japanese]