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Matsuo Basho - The Poet, and his Journey through the Northern Areas of Japan

$72 Limited inc GST / $65
Matsuo Basho - The Poet, and his Journey through the Northern Areas of Japan

<p>Matsuo Basho developed the style of poetry we know today as Haiku. In 1689, four years before his death, he undertook a monumental journey around the Northern parts of Japan, a journey of 2400

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Matsuo Basho developed the style of poetry we know today as Haiku. In 1689, four years before his death, he undertook a monumental journey around the Northern parts of Japan, a journey of 2400 kilometres. The journey took over five months, and resulted in one of Japan’s greatest pieces of travel literature, the Oku-no-hosomichi (The Narrow Road to Oku), a mixture of travelogue prose and haiku poetry. The course describes Basho’s life, some key passages from the text, and the highlights of his journey around the northern part of Japan.


SUGGESTED READING

  • John McBride – The Narrow Road to to the Deep North (on request a PDF e-mail version of John’s book will be delivered to participants as part of the course cost. The document is a full translation of Basho’s journal, a detailed description of the meaning of his words, the only translation available of Sora’s diary (who accompanied Basho) and an account of John’s walk following in Basho’s footsteps). Please save trees and don’t print out. Relevant extracts will be provided in class.
  • Donald Keane – Appreciations of Japanese Culture (Kodansha America, New York, 2002)
  • Richard Story – A History of Modern Japan (Pelican Original, 1960)
  • Matsuo Basho – The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Penguin Classics 1966)


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Who is Matsuo Basho?
  • Where did he travel during his epic journey on the Narrow Road to the Deep North.
  • Three passages from the text.
  • Three masterpiece haiku from the text.
  • Highlights of the journey.
  • How to plan your journey in the footsteps of Basho, including Nikko, Matsushima, Hiraizumi, Haguro and Kanazawa.
  • A reflection on your own journey – a self-created haiku.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain who is Matsuo Basho.
  2. Discuss the structure of a Haiku.
  3. Recognise some of the great sites visited by Basho.
  4. Plan your own trip to Japan in Basho’s footsteps.