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The narrow road to the Deep North : and other travel sketches (1694)

by Matsuo Bashō

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,4872712,231 (3.94)131
Basho (1644-1694) is the most famous Haiku poet of Japan. He made his living as a teacher and writer of Haiku and is celebrated for his many travels around Japan, which he recorded in travel journals. This translation of his most mature journal,Oku-No-Hosomichi, details the most arduous part of a nine-month journey with his friend and disciple, Sora, through the backlands north of the capital, west to the Japan Sea and back toward Kyoto. More than a record of the journey, Basho's journal is a poetic sequence that has become a center of the Japanese mind/heart. Ten illustrations by Hide Oshiro illuminate the text. Cid Corman was well-known as a poet, translator and editor ofOrigin, the ground-breaking poetry magazine.… (more)
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» See also 131 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
What a lovely character is Basho as he wanders through time and place alert to whatever happens on his journey. Usually with someone, a companion servant, he often gives the impression he is alone. There is delight in his both his prose and haiku regardless of how poorly they translate.

There is much to be explored in these sketches not least an understnding of metaphor. ( )
  simonpockley | Feb 25, 2024 |
This 'little book of travel' through Japan by one its greatest poets is simple, subtle and charming, if a little stiff in places (the translation?). A small sip from its pages each night was a gentle invitation to let the mind wander. I particularly enjoyed the sample verses from Basho's poetic companions given occasionally alongside his own, all written at the same time, which helped build up a sense of the varied possibilities of haiku. ( )
  breathslow | Jan 27, 2024 |
I read a page or two at night before falling asleep, which was very soothing. I'll probably start the book over and keep up this bedtime routine. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
Travel sketches of an author in search of spiritual fulfillment. The resulting text is one of the classics of Japanese and world literature. There are better translations available, but the central message comes through nonetheless. ( )
  jwhenderson | Jun 13, 2022 |
This is a sweet travel diary by Basho, the poet of 17th century Japan. He travels to sacred spots, places other poets had been and comments on the scenery, the weather, the other people he meets on the trip. He writes haikus to commemorate his visit to these places. It is beautiful and tranquil. The book includes a map of his route, and the poems in Japanese at the end of the book. ( )
  Marse | Oct 12, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Matsuo Bashōprimary authorall editionscalculated
Corman, CidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ikutada, HayakawaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Susumu, KamaikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vos, JosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yuasa, NobuyukiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The passing days and months are eternal travellers in time.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Basho (1644-1694) is the most famous Haiku poet of Japan. He made his living as a teacher and writer of Haiku and is celebrated for his many travels around Japan, which he recorded in travel journals. This translation of his most mature journal,Oku-No-Hosomichi, details the most arduous part of a nine-month journey with his friend and disciple, Sora, through the backlands north of the capital, west to the Japan Sea and back toward Kyoto. More than a record of the journey, Basho's journal is a poetic sequence that has become a center of the Japanese mind/heart. Ten illustrations by Hide Oshiro illuminate the text. Cid Corman was well-known as a poet, translator and editor ofOrigin, the ground-breaking poetry magazine.

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