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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I could not help feeling vague misgivings about the future of my journey, as I watched the fallen leaves of autumn being carried away by the wind. I immediatley thought of the famous Chinese poem about ‘the plum tree fragrant in the blazing heat of summer’ and of an equally pathetic poem by the priest Gyosonand felt even more attached to the cherry tree in front of me.

View all 5 comments. As Tolstoy warned us: Crossing the so-called forty-eight rapids of the Kurobe River and countless other streams, I came to the village of Nago, where I inquired after the famous wisteria vines of Takofor I wanted to see them in their deeo autumn colors though their flowering season was spring. I found an inn, and decided to stay there for several days. Sora, too, had stayed here the night before and left behind the following poem: At sunrise I saw Tanned faces of fishermen Among the flowers Of white poppy.

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

Find the poem of the day, my friend If Hollywood makes this into a movie, the quiet nwrrow, Basho, will be a martial arts master kicking ass and taking names.

Sun not yet down. He struggles against the barbarism of nature and the Japanese guards to keep his men alive as cholera, starvation and beatings carry them off. Retrieved from ” https: The others did not quite hit their stride, telling me that the distinguished poet DID hit his stride as a travel writer with practice.


Staff Pick: ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches’ by Matsuo Bashō

This exact phenomenon has happened to me so many times in my life that I nearly cried with relief that I wasn’t alone. Still, it suited my purposes to read this portable version. There was a huge chestnut tree on the outskirts of this post town, and a priest was living in seclusion under its shade.

My companion’s real name is Kawai Sogoro, Sora being his pen name. I finally took out my notebook from my bag and read the poems given me by my friends at the time of my departure – Chinese poem by Sodo, a waka by Hara Anteki, haiku by Sampu and Dakushi, all about the islands of Matsushima.

The doors of the shrines built on the rocks were firmly barred and there was no sound to be heard. When he composed The Narrow Road to the Deep Northhe was an ardent student of Zen Buddhism, setting off on a series of travels designed to strip away the trappings of the material world and bring spiritual enlightenment. Privacy policy About Wikitravel Terms of use Mobile view.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

What’s the Name o Dressed like a priest, Basho tramped along the treacherous roads of Edo Japan in coarsely woven straw sandals, following in the footstep of the ancient poets who obtained a state of ecstasy through taking very long walks. Reserved space at dormitory at bottom, then climbed to temple on ridge. I was pleased to see this busy place, though it was mere chance that had brought me here, and began to look for a suitable place to stay.

Contact our editors with your feedback. Currents in Japanese Culture: As I was plodding though the grass, I noticed a horse grazing by the roadside and a farmer cutting grass with a sickle. Thanks for telling us about the problem. World Show more World links. Founded by Jikaku Daishi, unusually well-kept quiet place. Filled with humble, memorable images of things seen on the road, these haiku journals have become classics of Japanese literature, treasured by many for their freshness and careful balance of poetry and prose.


His request came to me as a pleasant surprise. There are hundreds of houses where the priests practice religious rites with absolute severity.

Though written in an accessible manner, the copious allusions that would have been obvious to 17th Century Japanese readers sent me on frequent forays to the notes section in the back of the book.

In the library of sutras were placed the statues of the three nobles who governed this areaand enshrined in the so called Gold Chapel were the coffins containing their bodies, and under the all-devouring grass, their treasures scattered, their jewelled doors broken and their gold pillars crushed, but thanks to the outer frame and a covering of tiles added for protection, they had survived to be a monument of at least a thousand years.

When I stood there in front of the tree, I felt as if I were in the midst of the deep mountains where the poet Saigyo had picked nuts. As I looked up at the clouds gathering around the mountains of the Hokuriku road, the thought of the great distance awaiting me almost overwhelmed my heart. Interrupted reading aside, this was still an enjoyable read.

The Priest Gyoki is said to have used it for his walking stick and the chief support of his house.