Haiku by Basho

How admirable,
to see lightning,
and not think life is fleeting

inazuma ni satoranu hito no tattosa yo

12 1/4″ W x 43″ H Japanese Scroll
by Master Japanese Calligrapher Eri Takase

Master Takase personally brushes your Japanese scroll when you order. These high-quality Japanese scrolls are imported from Nara Japan and are meant to last generations. Your scroll is shipped within 1-3 business days from Master Takase's studio in Washington State and arrives ready to display.


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H3007 Haiku by Basho – How admirable, …
by Master Japanese Calligrapher Eri Takase

How admirable,
to see lightning,
and not think life is fleeting

inazuma ni
satoranu hito no
tattosa yo
bashou 芭蕉

Hart Larrabee suggests the translation:

Those who see lightning,
Without thinking of transience
How admirable!

Jane Hirshfield suggests the translation:

how admirable –
a man who sees lightening
and not satori

R. H. Blyth suggests the translation:

How Admirable,
He who thinks not, “Life is fleeting,”
When he sees the lightning flash!”

Sam Hill suggests the translation:

How very noble!
One who finds no satori
in the lightning flash

Asataro Miyamori suggests the translation:

How noble he who realizes not,
From lightning-flashes, life is vain!

Calligraphy Notes:

Japanese has changed dramatically since this haiku was written. Today the word toutosa (from 貴い (read toutoi)) is used in place of the archaic tattosa). So one sees the romaji for this poem written both ways. Here we have opted to use the older form (how Basho originally pronounced the characters) rather than using the modern pronunciation. This does not change the calligraphy, just how the poem is read.

Thus one commonly sees the reading as inazuma ni satoranu hito no toutosa yo. [4] [6]


[1] Translation by Timothy L. Jackowski, Takase Studios, LLC.

[2] Larrabee, Hart. (2016). Haiku: Classic Japanese Short Poems (Chinese Binding). Chartwell Books. 21.

[3] Hirshfield, Jane. (2017). Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World. Knopf. United States.

[4] Blyth, R. H. (1982). Haiku, Vol. 3: Summer-Autumn. Tokyo, The Hokuseido Press. 702.
[4] Blyth, R. H. (1949). Haiku, Vol. 1: Eastern Culture. Tokyo. The Hokuseido Press. 189.

[5] Hill, Sam. (2000). Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings (Shambhala Classics). Shambhala.

[6] Miyamori, Asataro. (1932). Anthology of Haiku Ancient and Modern. Maruzen. Tokyo. 149.

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About The Art: This beautiful hand-brushed scroll by Master Takase is personally created at the time of your order and proudly bares her seal and signature. We exclusively import this high-quality scroll with light brown silk borders and fine Japanese paper from one of the finest scroll makers in Nara Japan. This is not a print but is hand-brushed to match the sample as closely as possible. This is a personal work of art that is designed to last generations.

Delivery: The scroll is completed within 1-3 business days and is shipped from Master Takase's studio in the beautiful state of Washington. The scroll arrives ready to display.