Basho Inari Jinja Shrine

Basho wrote his famous frog haiku while in Morishita, so his name has become associated equally, if not more, with the frog as the Japanese banana plant. Here at this traditional fox shrine to the poet you can see stone representations of frogs.
Frog at Basho Inari Jinga shrine, Morishita, Koto ward, Tokyo.

After having written his famous frog haiku, Basho is said to have been given a stone frog ornament, that he treasured. It had pride of place at Basho Hermitage until the hermitage disappeared, and it was lost. It reappeared in 1917 after a typhoon on September 30 of that year, occasioning the establishment of the present shrine. However, it disappeared again in an air raid in March 1945, to be replaced 30 years later in 1975 with a replica.

The story doesn’t end there. In 1980, with the inauguration of the Matsuo Basho Museum, a member of the Basho Preservation Society found the frog hidden away in the family safe! It is now securely ensconced in the Basho Museum.

Anyway, here at the Basho Inari Jinja shrine, on the site of the old hermitage, you can see replicas of the frog as well as several monuments to the enshrined bard.


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