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Famous Poets from Japan

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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    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 on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 50 (1644-1694)
    • Birthplace: Ueno, Mie
    • Profession: Poet
    • Credits: Winter Days, An Autumn Wind
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    Eriko Kishida was a poet and a writer of children's story. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 82 (1929-2011)
    • Birthplace: Suginami, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Author
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    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 on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 42
    • Birthplace: Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
    • Profession: Record producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Model, Author + 1 more
    • Credits: Shiki, Bunraku, Moon Child, Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker, Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker + 4 more
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    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 on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 51 (1642-1693)
    • Birthplace: Namba, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist
    • Credits: The Sensualist
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    Katsue Kitasono was a renowned Japanese poet and photographer. He was born in the city of Ise, Mie Prefecture, Japan. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 76 (1902-1978)
    • Birthplace: Ise, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Photographer
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    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 on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 84 (1873-1957)
    • Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Journalist
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    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 on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 37 (1896-1933)
    • Birthplace: Hanamaki, Japan
    • 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
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    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 on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 39
    • Birthplace: Kyoto, Keihanshin, Japan
    • Profession: Record producer, Poet, Songwriter, Singer
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    Masaharu Fuji

    Masaharu Fuji is a novelist and poet. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 74 (1913-1987)
    • Birthplace: Miyoshi District, Tokushima
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist
    • Credits: Gô-hime
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    Michio Mado was a Japanese poet. He received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1994 for his "lasting contribution to children's literature". more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 105 (1909-2014)
    • Birthplace: Shunan, Japan
    • Profession: Poet
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    Mitsuharu Kaneko

    Mitsuharu Kaneko was a Japanese poet. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 80 (1895-1975)
    • Birthplace: Tsushima, Japan
    • Profession: Poet
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    Lieutenant-General Mori Ōgai was a Japanese Army Surgeon general officer, translator, novelist and poet. Gan is considered his major work. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 60 (1862-1922)
    • Birthplace: Tsuwano, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist, Physician
    • Credits: Sansho the Bailiff
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    Rie Yoshiyuki was a novelist and poet. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 67 (1939-2006)
    • Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist
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    Ryūichi Tamura was a Japanese poet, essayist and translator of English language novels and poetry who was active during the Showa period of Japan. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 75 (1923-1998)
    • Birthplace: Toshima, Tokyo, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Essayist, Translator
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    Sakae Tsuboi

    Sakae Tsuboi was a Japanese novelist and poet. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 68 (1899-1967)
    • Birthplace: Shodoshima, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist, Writer
    • Credits: Twenty-Four Eyes, Onna no Koyomi
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    Sesson Yūbai was a Japanese Zen Buddhist monk of the Rinzai sect. This priest and poet who is considered "the first important poet of the Five Mountains. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 58 (1290-1348)
    • Birthplace: Japan
    • Profession: Poet
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    Shūji Terayama was an avant-garde Japanese poet, dramatist, writer, film director, and photographer. According to many critics and supporters, he was one of the most productive and provocative creative artists to come out of Japan. He was born December 10, 1935, the only son of Hachiro and Hatsu ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 48 (1935-1983)
    • Birthplace: Hirosaki, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Screenwriter, Writer, Film Director, Photographer + 1 more
    • Credits: The Scandalous Adventures of Buraikan, Grass Labyrinth, Private Collections, Pastoral: To Die in the Country, Tears on the Lion’s Mane + 9 more
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    Shun Hasegawa

    Shun Hasegawa was a poet, writer and studied Russian literature. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 67 (1906-1973)
    • Birthplace: Hakodate, Japan
    • Profession: Poet, Writer
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    Shuntarō Tanikawa is a Japanese poet and translator. He is one of the most widely read and highly regarded of living Japanese poets, both in Japan and abroad, and a frequent subject of speculations regarding the Nobel Prize in Literature. Several of his collections, including his selected works, have ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 84
    • Birthplace: Tokyo City
    • Profession: Poet, Screenwriter, Translator
    • Credits: Tokyo Olympiad, Hinotori, Visions of Eight
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    Sion Sono is a Japanese filmmaker, author and poet. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 54
    • Birthplace: Toyokawa, Japan
    • Profession: Television director, Poet, Screenwriter, Actor, Film Director
    • Credits: Love Exposure, Suicide Club, Noriko's Dinner Table, Cold Fish, Strange Circus + 24 more
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