Oku no Hosomichi cover

Oku no Hosomichi

Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694)

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Summary

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.