Famous Poets from Japan

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List of notable or famous poets from Japan, with bios and photos, including the top poets born in Japan and even some popular poets who immigrated to Japan. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Japanese poets then this list is the perfect resource for you. These poets are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known poet from Japan is included when available.

GACKT and Yukio Mishima are included on this list.

This historic poets from Japan list can help answer the questions "Who are some Japanese poets of note?" and "Who are the most famous poets from Japan?" These prominent poets of Japan may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Japanese poets.

Use this list of renowned Japanese poets to discover some new poets that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (25 items)
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  1. 1
    Basho is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Poets from Japan
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Matsuo Bashō, born 松尾 金作, then Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa, was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku. Matsuo ...more

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    • Age: Died at 50 (1644-1694)
    • Birthplace: Ueno, Mie
    • Profession: Poet
    • Credits: Winter Days, An Autumn Wind
  2. 2

    Eriko Kishida was a poet and a writer of children's story.more

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    • Age: Died at 82 (1929-2011)
    • Birthplace: Kantō region, East Asia, Honshu, Tokyo, Asia, + more
    • Profession: Poet, Author
  3. 3

    Gackt Camui, better known by his stage name Gackt, is a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. He has been active since 1994, first as the frontman of the short-lived independent band Cains:Feel, then for the now defunct visual kei rock band Malice Mizer, before starting his solo ...more

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    • Age: age 42
    • Birthplace: Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
    • Profession: Record producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Model, Author, + more
    • Credits: Shiki, Bunraku, Moon Child, Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker, Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker, + more
  4. 4

    Ihara Saikaku was a Japanese poet and creator of the "floating world" genre of Japanese prose. Born as Hirayama Tōgo, the son of a wealthy merchant in Osaka, he first studied haikai poetry under Matsunaga Teitoku and later studied under Nishiyama Sōin of the Danrin School of poetry, which emphasized ...more

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    • Age: Died at 51 (1642-1693)
    • Birthplace: Osaka, Namba, Higashi Osaka-Shi
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist
    • Credits: The Sensualist
  5. 5
    Katsue Kitasono is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Poets from Japan
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Katsue Kitasono was a renowned Japanese poet and photographer. He was born in the city of Ise, Mie Prefecture, Japan.more

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    • Age: Died at 76 (1902-1978)
    • Birthplace: East Asia, Kansai region, Honshu, Ise, Asia, + more
    • Profession: Poet, Photographer
  6. 6

    Yasutaro Soga was a Hawaiian Issei journalist, poet and activist. He was a community leader among Japanese Hawaiians, serving as chief editor of the Nippu Jiji, then the largest Japanese-language newspaper in Hawaii and the mainland United States, and organizing efforts to foster positive Japan-U.S.more

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    • Age: Died at 84 (1873-1957)
    • Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Journalist
  7. 7
    Kenji Miyazawa is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Poets from Japan
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Kenji Miyazawa was a Japanese poet and author of children's literature in the early Shōwa period. He was also known as a vegetarian, and social activist. A devout believer in Nichiren Buddhism in the latter half of his life, he joined the Kokuchūkai, a Nichiren Buddhist organization with nationalistic ...more

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    • Age: Died at 37 (1896-1933)
    • Birthplace: Hanamaki, East Asia, Honshu, Asia, Japan, + more
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist, Writer, Teacher
    • Credits: Night on the Galactic Railroad, The Night of Taneyamagahara, Three Tales, Guskō Budori no Denki, Bungô: Sasayaka na yokubô
  8. 8
    Kyo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Poets from Japan
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Kyo is a Japanese musician, poet and singer-songwriter. He is best known as the vocalist of the metal band Dir en grey. He has been with the band since its inception in 1997 and was formerly in La:Sadie's. Kyo was inspired to become a musician when he saw a picture of Buck-Tick vocalist Atsushi Sakurai ...more

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    • Age: age 39
    • Birthplace: Kyoto, Keihanshin, Japan
    • Profession: Record producer, Poet, Songwriter, Singer
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