Haiku Journey: Basho's The Narrow Road to a Far Province
In the seventeenth century, the pilgrim-poet Basho undertook on foot a difficult and perilous journey to the remote northeastern provinces of Honshu, Japan's main island. Throughout the five-month journey, the master of haiku kept a record of his impressions in a prose-poetry diary later called The Narrow Road to a Far Province. His diary was to become one of the classics of Japanese literature.
Noted professor of Japanese literature J. Thomas Rimer wrote of this classic: "In his diary, which Basho kept reworking and revising until his death, he mixed fact, fiction, poetry, and prose to create the record of a journey that moves both geographically and spiritually, one strand mixing with the other on virtually every page. Read and reread with care, The Narrow Road to a Far Province can reveal more qualities still basic to Japanese cultural attitudes than perhaps any other work in the whole canon of classical literature. For once, the highest of reputations is truly deserved."
This edition is illustrated with sumi-e ink sketches by Japanese artist Shiro Tsujimura.