There is a revised version of the reprint of Hisago, a haiku poetry anthology compiled by Matsuo-Bashō’s disciple Hamada-Chinseki. It has been often said that Kagami-Shikō revised it for his own argument of the master’s poetical style in his essay “Nijūgo-jō.” But it seems to be improbable because the essay was published after his death in the sixteenth year of the Kyōho Period when the publisher Izutsuya didn’t plan to reprint Hisago yet. Rather what is important is that the anthology was reissued in the midst of the Bashō revival which started with the fiftieth anniversary of his death. Interestingly enough “Nijūgo-jō” was so positively received in the revival movement that Kagami’s tampering was believed to be authorized by the master himself. As a result Izutsuya regarded the revised poems in “Nijūgo-jō as legitimate and adopted them for the reprint.
Jingū-senpai-narabini-kinrai-kokugakunin-kashū (henceforth referred to as Kashū) is a poetry collection compiled by Nakagawa-Tsunetada and reprinted in another collection Seisho-shū. It consists of 1,566 poems by classical literature scholars and Shinto priests, 366 out of which are “chōka” poems. Interestingly 96 out of these 366 poems are borrowed from Yasoura-no-tama, a poetry collection edited by Motoori-Ōhira. In addition to them many other songs by Motoori are also selected; they totally account for about 60% of the whole “chōka” poems in Kashū. Obviously Nakagawa held Motoori in such high esteem that, while trying to make his original collection, eventually he couldn’t resist Motoori’s poetical influence to the extent of including a great number of his poems in it.
The legend of Sakura-Sōgorō, a farmer hero in the early Edo Period, is made into numerous stories which can be classified into the two series called “Sōdōki” and “Jizōdō.” Each of the series is further divided into three subgroups. Sakura-kajitsu-monogatari belongs to the subgroup C of the “Sōdōki” series. The little known text is pivotal in the development of the legend because of its humanistic treatment of the hero. Indeed Shōtei-Kinsui wrote his “yomihon” novel Chūyū-asakura-nikki under its inspiration. The article will draw a whole constellation of stories created from the legend and then explore its influence on popular fiction in the Edo Period.