Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Saturday, January 26, 2008

"The road gods beckoned"

There did we begin
Cloistered in that waterfall
Our summer discipline
- Basho

In this month's National Geogaphic Magazine, there is an article on the hiking trip the Japanese Poet Basho took in 1689. If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to that article. The photographs are simply breath taking.

I posted about Basho's trip in August of 2005, and included a link to an online version of Basho's journal. Please visit the archives. The post was entitled "Speaking of Hiking an Ancient Trail."


Anonymous said...

you're right the pictures are breathtaking. yamashita has an aesthetic focus to his lens. the first picture, of the stairs, reminds me of parks in this area. there is a section where you turn a corner in the trail, and off to the left, if you know just where -- and when -- to look, you will find pink ladyslipper orchids.

i didn't read the article, but i am wondering if these places were along a single road trip, or if these were familiar grounds to basho.

ms lili

Rick Matz said...

Zen, over at

is planning on moving to Japan in a few years. Among his hobbies is photography.

With any luck, he'll have the time to follow Basho's trail, and blog what he finds.