Matsuo Basho The 17th-century Japanese haiku master Basho was born Matsuo Kinsaku near Kyoto, Japan, to a minor samurai and his wife. During his early years Basho studied Chinese poetry and Taoism, and soon began writing haikai no renga, a form of linked verses composed in collaboration. During these early years Basho studied Chinese poetry and Taoism, and soon began writing haikai no renga, a form of linked verses composed in collaboration. His most well-known haibun, Oku no Hosomichi, or Narrow Road to the Interior, recounts the last long walk Basho completed with his disciple Sora—1,200 miles covered over five months beginning in May 1689. While their days were spent walking, in the evenings they often socialized and wrote with students and friends who lived along their route. The route was also planned to include views that had previously been described by other poets; Basho alludes to these earlier poems in his own descriptions, weaving fragments of literary and historical conversation into his solitary journey.