Here is the most complete single-volume collection of the writings of one of the great luminaries of Asian literature. Basho (–)—who elevated the haiku . to his lucid and engaging translation of Bashō’s greatest achievement, his famed travelogue Narrow Road to the Interior (Oku no Hosomichi). Narrow Road to the Interior By Matsuo Basho. Translated by Sam Hamill. Shambhala Publications: Boston, pp. $ (paperback). addiss_1.

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Read more on my blog This page was last edited on 17 Decemberat Basho, the eminent Haiku master who was so much more than that. Refresh and try rkad. I seemed to be possessed by the spirits of wanderlust, and they all but deprived me of my senses. Traveling Alone with the poetry and spirit of Basho Traveling across Japan, a light stroll through the works of Basho,while on a bus or shinkansen, is a great way to spend your time. Fans of Basho; Fans of Japanese literature.

May 14, Pages. It may be his best known work, but his I read the Shambhala Press edition …every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. The narrator for the lead piece, The Narrow Road to the Interior was a little hard to understand.

Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings by Matsuo Bashō

He had to cast this self away, for otherwise he was not able to restore his true identity what he calls the ‘everlasting self which is poetry ‘ ” [16]. Sep 26, Pages Buy. It’s nice to read a book that doens’t roll around in the minature quality of haiku and too boring eastern shit.

It is beautiful and it totally gets me.

Matsuo Basho’s “Narrow Road” (Oku no Hosomichi)

Those who float all their lives on a boat or reach their old age leading a horse by the bit make travel out of each day and inhabit travel. He is an influential poet in his own right. Several journeys over various years in tthe poet’s life. Narrow Road to the Interior: Feb 05, Aaron rated it it was amazing. The years that come and go are travellers too.


Intterior the time I had mended my torn trousers, put a new cord on my hat, and cauterized my legs with moxa, I was thinking only of the moon at Matsushima. Days and months are travellers of eternity. In addition, the translator has provided an introduction detailing Basho’s life and work and an essay on the art of haiku.

Although this Shambhala edition takes its title from the best known of the works, it includes all four travel journals as well as an extensive selection of Haiku.

Intetior picture that emerges of Basho is a bit different from what I was expecting. It required, on my part, a lot of map looking, Google image searching, re-reading, and note taking. The first half, I liked his symbolism, like how he related his empty house to a doll house, or how he interpreted the environment around him to mean a very specific things, but it gets tiring.

The Narrow Road to the Interior by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Over the centuries many famous men have met death on the way; and I, too, though I do not know what year it began, have long yielded to the wind like a bashk cloud and, unable to give up my wandering desires, have taken my way along the coast. Read my pocket version of Narrow Road for the zillionth time and fo standing by the Tama River Still I have always been drawn by wind-blown clouds into dreams of a lifetime of wandering.

The guardian spirits of the road beckoned, and I could not settle down to work. Basho’s sublime poetry is interspersed throughout the travelogue adding to and completing his prose.

Narrod are a great number of ancients, too, who died on the road.

The translator refers to them as the Basho school of poetry. This book is the most sublime travel journal I have ever read – a collection of interwoven prose and poetry known as haibun that records Basho’s journeys in 17th century Japan. Some bahso suggest he invented the form, though he did not.


Life itself is a journey; and as for those who spend their days upon the waters in ships and those who grow old leading horses, their very home is the open road. So I patched up my trousers, put new cords in my straw hat, and strengthened my knees with moxa.

I was especially moved and intrigued by the descriptions of Basho’s loving and perhaps not entirely platonic friendship with his faithful traveling companion, a man named Sora.

The sun and the moon are eternal voyagers; the years that come and go are travelers too. Last year I spent wandering along the coast. Jun niterior, Susan Budd rated it it was amazing Shelves: The ‘interior’ here is not only the ‘interior’ of Japan, the essence of so much of its history, but into the ‘interior’ of a man who is fully alive only in the immediate, the simple, the natural world.

View all 5 comments. Nov 05, Nicola rated it really liked it.

Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings

The book requires re-reading and further exploration. Bernard Norcott-Mahanya library technical assistant at the Lucile H. In other projects Wikivoyage. In which year it was I do ro recall, but I, too, began to be lured by the wind like a fragmentary cloud and have since been unable to resist wanderlust, roaming out to the seashores. Last fall, I bqsho aside old cobwebs in my dilapidated hut in Fukagawa, and soon the year came to a close; as spring began and haze rose in the sky, I longed to walk beyond Shirakawa Barrier and, possessed and deranged by the distracting deity and enticed by the guardian deity of the road, I was unable to concentrate on anything.