Sonjo was one of the pupils of the great Basho; she was an eye-doctor.

She came to Yedo after her husband’s death and is buried there.

She became a Buddhist nun. She writes:—

Not to seek for the Truth not to seek for error—this is the basis of the Great Path.
The flower is red, the willow is green. My days are passed in repeating the Mantra—Namo Amida Butsu.
Going to Paradise is good, falling into hell is a matter of congratulation. Her death verse was:—
The skies seen in the dawn of spring—seen with the moon in autumn— Were they real? Were they a dream? Salutations to Amida Butsu.
She means that we are to five in the created world, five in the present or five in the past, in them, by them, for them, selfless and desireless.
The reality and unreality of all is not our concern.
The answer to every question whether the world is real or unreal, friend or foe, ought to be ‘Salutations to Amida Buddha!’
This is just what we say in ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’ (Reverence to the Lord Vasudeva).

Sonjo lived from 1649-1723, serving the great Basho when he was fatigued or ill.

Her verses are most enlightening.

 

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