Bontoan (梵灯庵)

Bontoan (1349-1417 (years are undetermined)) was a renga (poem composed of lines linked in idea written by two or more persons) poet from the Northern and Southern Courts period to the mid Muromachi period. He was originally a vassal to the Ashikaga clan and was called Kojiro Morotsuna ASAYAMA, later taking the name KATSUBE.

He studied waka (=tanka; a traditional Japanese poem of thirty-one syllables) under Tamehide REIZEI and renga under Yoshimoto NIJO, serving Shogun Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA as Doboshu (the shogun's attendants in charge of entertainment) as a waka and renga poet and went to Satsuma Province twice as an envoy. After reaching the age of 40, he joined the priesthood and traveled for about 20 years around Tsukushi, Kumano and Mutsu Provinces, spreading his name as a renga poet. His skillfull expression was influenced by Shua expression; however, in his renga collection, he leaned more toward elegant pursuit with subjective aesthetic expressions. Among his disciples was Sozei TAKAYAMA.

His renga collections include 'Bontoan Sodeshitashu' and 'Bontoanshu hentosho.'