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Oku no Hosomichi

Oku no Hosomichi by Matsuo Bashō
By: (1644-1694)

Oku no Hosomichi by Matsuo Bashō is a masterpiece of Japanese literature, filled with profound insights, beautiful language, and a deep connection to nature. The poet's journey through the remote regions of Japan is described with exquisite detail, capturing the essence of each place he visits.

Bashō's haiku poetry is sprinkled throughout the narrative, adding another layer of beauty to the text. His observations of nature are both simple and profound, offering readers a glimpse into the Zen-like mindset of the poet.

The travelogue format of Oku no Hosomichi allows readers to vicariously experience the sights, sounds, and emotions of Bashō's journey. From mist-covered mountains to rushing rivers, each stop along the way is imbued with a sense of wonder and reverence.

Overall, Oku no Hosomichi is a timeless classic that continues to inspire readers with its lyrical prose, evocative imagery, and poignant reflections on life, nature, and the passage of time. It is a must-read for anyone interested in Japanese literature, poetry, or travel writing.

Book Description:

Oku no Hosomichi (meaning Narrow Road to Oku [the Deep North]) is a major work by Matsuo Bashō.

Oku no Hosomichi was written based on a journey taken by Bashō in the late spring of 1689. He and his traveling companion Sora departed from Edo (modern-day Tokyo) for the northerly interior region known as Oku, propelled mostly by a desire to see the places about which the old poets wrote. Travel in those days was, of course, very dangerous to one’s health, but Bashō was committed to a kind of poetic ideal of wandering. He travelled for about 156 days all together, covering thousands of miles mostly on foot. Of all of Bashō’s works, Oku no Hosomichi is best known.

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