Fukuda Chiyo-ni or Kaga no Chiyo 福田 千代尼 (1703-1775), a Pure Land Buddhist nun, began writing haiku at age of seven and studied under two haiku masters including Matsuo Basho. Chiyo-ni according the Patricia Donegan and Yoshie Isibashi who wrote the book “Chiyo-ni: Woman Haiku Master” was a feminist haiku poet. I would also call Chiyo-ni the truthful haiku poet. Most modern day haiku poets are women but in past times the men forbid women from practicing haiku. Chiyo-ni led the way to bring more equality in the haiku world.

my fishing line —
the summer moon.

From the mind
of a single, long vine
one hundred opening lives.

Airing out kimonos
as well as her heart
is never enough.

Again the women
come to the fields
with unkempt hair.

Just for today
using men
for rice-planting.


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