Matsuo Basho Monument
Matsuo Basho Monument

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2 reviews
Very good

Honolulu, HI1,452 contributions
Feb 2020
Nikko was an important stop, the 5th station, on Basho's Journey to the Deep North, and there are supposed to be four Basho monuments here, though only two are mapped on the "Nikko Historical Walking Map, Kanman Path," neither easy to find. The one pictured here is in front of the Arasawa Elementary School facing the parking lot, which is why there is a brick wall behind it in the photo. If the guide is accurate (not necessarily the case), it commemorates the waterfall nearby:

For a little while I listen to the sound of the water,
Hidden behind the waterfall,
Leaving all thoughts of the outside world behind.

Bashoo's story goes like this:
On the first day of April, I climbed Mount Nikkoo to do homage to the holiest of shrines upon it. This mountain used to be called Ni koo (futa ara) (二荒). When the high priest Kuukai built a temple upon it, however, he changed the name to Nikkoo (日光), which means the bright beams of the sun.

It was with awe
That I beheld
Fresh leaves, green leaves,
Bright in the sun.

Tr. Nobuyuki Yuasa

There's a second Basho monument below the school, near the bridge, I've included two photos of it here, too.
Written February 8, 2020
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Matsuo Basho Monument - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)