Basho in Yamagata, a Proposal

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In 1689, during the early Edo period, haiku poet Basho who tunrned 45 years old, went on a five months trip to the Northeastern and Japan Sea regions of Japan, accompanied by Sora, one of his deciples. The haiku poems he wrote during this trip was summarized as a haiku essay called "The Narrow Roads to the Interior Lands," whose main haiku were made in the middle and north parts of Yamagata Prefecture, such as:
and the cicadas' chirping sounds
being absorbed by the rocks.
The rain of May being
Gathered by the swiflyt-flowing
Mogami River.

The years 1996 and 1997 are historical for the researchers of Basho's haiku: a copy of "The Narrow Roads of the Interior Lands" of his own writing was found in Osaka, and its copies have been made available in two books: "Basho Jihitsubon: Oku no Hoso-michi" (Nakao Shosendo, Nov., 1996; a limited edition) and "Basho Jihitsu: Oku no Hoso-michi" (Iwanami Shoten, Jan., 1997; a popular edition). It was found that it contained many corrections and that Basho's haiku was not instantly made, but created and perfected after many agonizing revisions.

This home page includes the newly found original of Basho's classic, with modern Japanese and English translations, illustrated by photos taken by the participants. It is expected to be created in January-June, 1997. If you are literature-minded, you are welcome to add your comments about Abbot Inno (988-?), Abbot Saigyo (1118-1190), Yoshitsune Minamoto (1159-1189) and Sogi (1421-1502), whose footprints Basho had said that he wanted to trace.

Here is the introductory part of Basho's "The Narrow Roads to the Interior Lands":

The years and months are our travelling guests for hundred years, and the people who come and go are also travellers.

The Reference

Other Basho Home Pages

Other Haiku Related Home Pages

See the list in Issa's Haiku Home Page.

WWWs Related to Yamagata Prefecture, Its History and Culture

The Objectives of the Participants Who Create the Basho in Yamagata Home Page

As you can see, the objectives of the participants who will make this home page is to create the Yamagata Prefecture part of Basho's haiku trip in English and Japanese, and to learn more about Basho and Yamagata Prefecture.

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The Start of the Japanese Part



1996〜97年は芭蕉の俳句研究とって、記念すべき年でした---大阪で彼自筆の「奥の細道」が見つかり、複製本「芭蕉自筆本 奥の細道」(中尾松泉堂、1996年11月、限定販売)と普及洋装版「芭蕉自筆 奥の細道」(岩波書店、1997年1月、下注)として発行されました。(朝日新聞'96年11月26日、12月2日の記事などを参照。)この自筆本には何回も修正の貼り紙がしてあり、芭蕉の俳句は天才のヒラメキでその場ですぐにできたのではなく、旅の途中ばかりか旅が終わってからも何度も推敲を重ねて、苦しんで、書き替えてできたものであることが分りました。



歳月は百代の過客にして、行き交う人もまた旅人なり。... 年月は百年来のお客様のようでもすぐに過ぎ去り、我々の周りの人々もまた旅人です。...









川:ぶらり最上川 (Video Tape)






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The End of the Japanese Part

Please send any comments about this home page to of Asia Info Network. Created on Dec. 17, 1996. Last update on Jan. 15, 1997.