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Kobayashi Issa
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    (June 15, 1763-November 19, 1827)
    Born in Nagano Prefecture, Japan
    Birth name was Kobayashi Nobuyuki
    Considered one of Japan's four haiku masters, along with Basho, Buson and Shiki
    Wrote over 20,000 haiku
    Wrote the autobiographical 'The Spring of My Life,' combining prose and haiku
    His pen name, Issa, means 'One cup of tea.'
    He had a long-running feud with his stepmother and stepbrother over his father's estate.
    He was two to three decades older than each of his three wives.
    His second wife left him in less than a month.
    He wrote over a hundred haiku about fleas.
    He outlived his first wife and four of his children.
    His house was destroyed in a fire (1827).
    He was also a prolific painter.
    His affectionate poems about animals and insects are widely learned by Japanese schoolchildren.
    One of his haiku is included in J.D. Salinger's novel 'Franny and Zooey.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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