Akinotaxe This entry was posted in Uncategorized. But this core of reality is not some distant, abstract essence; it is a penetrating insight into things as they are. We nod and smile, commiserate about the bitterness of vending-machine coffee. Pages with related products. An interesting listening experience because I liked the picture on the cover. From the earliest times there have always been some who perished along the road.

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Translated by Cid Corman and Kamaike Susumu Back Roads to Far Towns, The months and days are the wayfarers of the centuries and as yet another year comes round, it, too, turns traveler.

Sailors whose lives float away as they labor on boats, horsemen who encounter old age as they draw the horse around once more by the bit, they also spend their days in travel and make their home in wayfaring. 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 loosened cloud and, unable to give up my wandering desires, have taken my way along the coast.

Last autumn, as I cleaned the old cobwebs from my old dilapidated house by the riverside, I found that the year had suddenly drawn to its close. As the sky of the new year filled with the haze of spring, I thought of going beyond the Shirakawa Barrier, and so possessed was I by some peripatetic urge that I thought I had an invitation from the god of travelers himself and so became unable to settle down to anything. I mended my underpants, re-corded my rain hat, and took three bits of moxa cautery.

I could not put from my mind how lovely the moon must be at Matsushima. My old grasshut Lived in now by another generation Is decked out with dolls. This and the rest of the first eight stanzas of a haikai I left posted on a pillar of my cottage. The years that come and go are travellers too. 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.

And some poets of old there were who died while travelling. There came a day when the clouds drifting along with the wind aroused a wanderlust in me, and I set off on a journey to roam along the seashores. I returned to my hut on the riverbank last autumn, and by the time I had swept away the cobwebs, the year was over. But when spring came with its misty skies, the god of temptation possessed me with a longing to pass the Barrier of Shirakawa, and road gods beckoned, and I could not set my mind to anything.

So I mended my breeches, put new cords on my hat, and as I burned moxa on my knees to make them strong, I was already dreaming of the moon over Matsushima. For those whose lives float away on boats, for those who greet old age with hands clasping the lead ropes of horses, travel is life, travel is home. And many are the men of old who have perished as they journeyed.

I myself fell prey to wanderlust some years ago, desiring nothing better than to be a vagrant cloud scudding before the wind. Only last autumn, after having drifted along the seashore for a time, had I swept away the old cobwebs from my dilapidated riverside hermitage.

But the year ended before I knew it, and I found myself looking at hazy spring skies and thinking of crossing Shirakawa Barrier. Bewitched by the god of restlessness, I lost my peace of mind; summoned by the spirits of the road, I felt unable to settle down to anything.

By 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. Even my grass-thatched hut will have new occupants now: a display of dolls. The years that come and go are also voyagers. Those who float away their lives on ships or who grow old leading horses are forever journeying, and their homes are wherever their travels take them. Many of the men of old died on the road, and I too for years past have been stirred by the sight of a solitary cloud drifting with the wind to ceaseless thoughts of roaming.

Last year I spent wandering along the coast. In autumn I returned to my cottage on the river and swept away the cobwebs. Gradually the year drew to its close. When spring came and there was mist in the air, I thought of crossing the Barrier of Shirakawa into Oku.

I seemed to be possessed by the spirits of wanderlust, and they all deprived me of my senses. The guardian spirits of the road beckoned, and I could not settle down to work.

I patched my torn trousers and changed the cord on my bamboo hat. To strengthen my legs for the journey I had moxa burned on my shins. By then I could think of nothing but the moon at Matsushima.


The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Matsuo Basho

Of those entries, this one may well be my favorite, though I suspect that it is the haiku, more than the prose entry that I love: In Yamagata Province, the ancient temple founded by Jikaku Daishi in 86o, Ryushaku Temple is stone quiet, perfectly tidy. Everyone told us to see it. It meant a few miles extra, doubling back toward Obanazawa to find shelter. Monks at the foot of the mountain offered rooms, then we climbed the ridge to the temple, scrambling up through ancient gnarled pine and oak, gray smooth stones and moss.


Narrow Road to the Interior


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