The Narrow Road to the Deep North (奥の細道 Oku no Hosomichi) is the title of famed haiku poet Matsuo Basho’s most famous work, a poem-filled travelogue. The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Penguin Classics) [Matsuo Basho, Nobuyuki Yuasa] on *FREE* shipping on . The Narrow Road to the Deep North, travel account written by Japanese haiku master Bashō as Oku no hosomichi (“The Narrow Road to Oku”), published in.

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Like other forms of minimalist art, I find it difficult to really enjoy, despite its roots in Buddhist philosophy. In particular, his emphasis on wabi-sabi, poverty and loneliness, as seen in a lone tree on the hillside or a lone house in a deserted field or drinking water from a simple chipped pitcher, evoked something in me that I’d been able to quite articulate.

This mountain one of rocky steeps, ancient pines and cypresses, old earth and stone and smooth moss, and on the rocks temple-doors locked, no sound.

On the following day, I sat with the priest in the main hall to compose some linked verse. I went to the Colored Beach to pick up some pink shells. The next day I looked at the Cape of Oguro and the tiny island of Mizu, both in a river, and arrived by gasho of Naruko hot spring at the barrier-gate of Shitomae which blocked the entrance to the province of Dewa.

There was a lonely tthe in the vicinity, and tombs of the Sato family were still standing in the graveyard.

Narrow Road to the Deep North

After much inquiring, I found a miserable house, and, spending an uneasy night, I wandered out again on the following morning on a road that was totally unknown to me. Basho seems to venerate the past and historical references are frequent.


He achieved a modest degree of fame during his lifetime with gems such as this:. Sitting at full ease On the doors of their huts, The fishermen enjoy A cool evening – Written by Teiji. Nov 13, Jan-Maat added it Recommends it for: The names of notrh two villages were so befitting to the wet season with their echoes of raincoat and umbrella that I wrote: Basho died in shortly after leaving Kyoto on another trip, and is buried in the town of Otsu.

As I was still descending, I saw an old smithy built right on a trickling stream. There was a problem with your submission.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

I wondered what kind of people were living in those isolated houses, and was approaching one of them with a strange sense of yearning, when, as if to interrupt me, the moon rose glittering over the darkened sea, completing the full transformation to a night-time baeho.

Station 24 – Dewagoe. This grassy hermitage, Hardly any more Than five feet square, I would gladly quit But for the rain. The busy hands Of rice-planting girls, Reminiscent somehow Of the old dyeing technique.

Review by Carl Wilkinson.

On my way to Yamanaka hot springthe white peak of Mount Shirane overlooked me all the time from behind. It must be admitted, however, that there were times when it sank into such dejection that it was almost ready to drop its pursuit, or again times when it was so puffed up with pride that it exulted in vain victories over the others.

I bwsho to their whispers till fatigue lulled me to sleep.


I also learnt that Japanese horses are trustworthy. As a result, her son was named the Lord Born Out of the Fire, and her shrine, Muro-no-yashima, which means a burning cell. Humans are only one tge many things and all these things long to live, and the highest form of living is freedom: Feb 15, J.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches by Matsuo Bashō

What isn’t on me is the plodding, dragging translation, which does cause my heel to get sore and cause my mind great suffering, and in my less patient moments made me wish the translator could be thrown into a moat.

I’ll be in the other room, reading Rexroth’s translations.

To illustrate my point, given the Japanese haiku above as Basho’s most famous onethe following translation taken from Essentially Oriental: I can only thank Basho for articulating what I had never been able to articulate for raod.

Questions about love and death, guilt and memory, both individual and collective, and about what remains of us after we die loom large. What the gate-keeper had told me turned out to be true.

Does reep mean he’s giving it a good review or a bad review? Everybody was overjoyed to see me as if I had returned unexpectedly from the dead. His father was a poet and there was an interesting story about him: