Who is the Japanese Haiku poet who is known as the "cup-of-tea"?
Kobayashi Issa was a Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest of the 'Jōdo Shinshū.' He is known for his haiku poems and journals. He is better known as simply Issa, a pen name meaning Cup-of-tea (lit. "one cup of tea"). He is regarded as one of the four haiku masters in Japan, along with 'Bashō,' 'Buson' and 'Shiki' — "the Great Four."
Issa was born and registered as Kobayashi Nobuyuki, with a childhood name of Kobayashi Yatarō, the first son of a farmer family of Kashiwabara, now part of Shinano-machi, Shinano Province (present-day Nagano Prefecture). Issa endured the loss of his mother, who died when he was three. Her death was the first of numerous difficulties young Issa suffered.
Issa wrote over 20,000 haiku, which have won him readers up to the present day. Though his works were popular, he suffered great monetary instability. His poetry makes liberal use of local dialects and conversational phrases, and including many verses on plants and the lower creatures.
"In the cherry blossom's,
shade there's no such
thing as a stranger."
- Kobayashi Issa -