Murakami Kijo (1865
) was a Japan
poet, a frequent contributor to the haiku magazine Hototogisu
, and one of the followers of the great modern master Masaoka Shiki
As a young man, he studied law but had to give it up when he became deaf due to an illness. Starting in 1894
, he worked as a legal scribe in a courthouse in Takasaki
, a small town about sixty miles from Tokyo
. With his meager salary, he had a difficult time supporting his ten children. He was fired in 1915
, but the friends he had met though his poetry intervened and he returned to his post. In 1927
, the luckless Kijo lost his possessions and his home in a fire.
Kijo is often compared to the great master Kobayashi Issa
because both men led lives of sorrow and hardship and their work is characterized by a deep empathy.