Support material for Matsuo Bashô's Narrow Road to the Deep North • Oku no hosomichi
This page includes (click to jump): comments and multimedia specific to particular passages, portraits | travel map | reproduction of the manuscript's first page | links to Buson's illustrated scrolls | a paragraph written by Bashô after the completion of his trip (excerpt from Genjûan no fu) | book suggestions | links to web sites in English | links to web sites in Japanese
Comments and multimedia for specific passages:
"Nasu" section, where Sora write the poem about the young girl with the name "Kasane"
"Hiraizumi" section, where Bashô writes the poem about the warriors and their dreams
"Ryushaku-ji" section, where Bashô writes the poem about the voice of cicadas seeping into rocks
click on the image to further enlarge
Map of Bashô's travels recorded in Narrow Road to the Deep North overlaid on a modern map of Japan
click on the image to further enlarge / MAP KEY IS HERE
First page of Bashô's Narrow Road to the Deep North, in his own hand.
Buson's various versions of Illustrated Scroll of Oku no hosomichi
Buson's Illustrated Scroll of Oku no hosomichi (Oku no hosomichi zukan) is rediscovered (link to newspaper article in Japanese)
Page providing scans of many of Buson's images in his Illustrated Scroll of Oku no hosomichi (Oku no hosomichi ga maki) (link to web site in Japanese, part of the web site listed below "Bashouan")
An excerpt from Genjûan no fu, as translated by Donald Keene. This was written by Bashô after his Oku no hosomichi trip. (Requires Adobe Reader to read.)
Some academic books on Bashô other than translations
2004 Bashô's haiku: selected poems by Matsuo Bashô, translated by David Landis Barnhill (Albany: State University of New York Press)
1999 Rediscovering Basho: a 300th anniversary celebration, edited by Stephen Gill & C. Andrew Gerstle (Folkestone, Kent [England]: Global Oriental)
1998 The Path of Flowering Thorn: The Life and Poetry of Yosa Buson, by Makoto Ueda (Stanford University Press) ... This is a lovely volume on one of the other haiku poets I have mentioned in my lectures, Yosa Buson.
1998 Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Bashô, by Haruo Shirane (Stanford University Press) ... a full and informed study of Bashô, in the context of his writing genre, "haikai"
1996 Naming properties: nominal reference in travel writings by Bashô and Sora, by Earl Miner (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press) ... a study of Bashô's travel journals from a comparative point of view (Miner was a scholar at Princeton whose expertise was both Japanese and English literature)
1991 Bashô and His Interpreters: selected hokku with commentary, compiled by Makoto Ueda (Stanford University Press) ... an excellent volume that collects commentary over the centuries of Bashô's poems
1989 Bashô's Ghost, by Sam Hamill (Seattle: Broken Moon Press)
1982 Matsuo Bashô, by Makoto Ueda (Tokyo: Kodansha International) ... a lucid account of Bashô's life
Some interesting web links to sites in English on Bashô
Ueda's fine biography of Bashô
Descriptions of places on the roads taken by Bashô in Narrow Road to the Deep North
An interesting haiku poetry site
A few interesting poems by Bashô
High-quality web sites in Japanese
Full text with multi-media notes, part of an extensive web site called Bashouan (Bashô's Hut).
Web site called "Scenery That Bashô Saw (Bashô ga mita fûkei)".