Matsuo Bashô: Oku no Hosomichi


Oku no Hosomichi



On my way to Yamanaka hot spring, the white peak of Mount Shirane overlooked me all the time from behind. At last I came to the spot where there was a temple hard by a mountain on the left. According to the legend, this temple was built to enshrine Kannon, the great goddess of mercy, by the Emperor Kazan, when he had finished his round of the so-called Thirty- three Sacred Temples, and its name Nata was compounded of Nachi and Tanigumi, the first and last of these temples respectively. There were beautiful rocks and old pines in the garden, and the goddess was placed in a thatched house built on a rock. Indeed, the entire place was filled with strange sights.

Whiter far
Than the white rocks
Of the Rock Temple
The autumn wind blows.

I enjoyed a bath in the hot spring whose marvelous properties had a reputation of being second to none, except the hot spring of Ariake.

Bathed in such comfort
In the balmy spring of Yamanaka,
I can do without plucking
Life-preserving chrysanthemums

The host of the inn was a young man named Kumenosuke. His father was a poet and there was an interesting story about him: one day, when Teishitsu (later a famous poet in Kyoto but a young man then) came to this place, he met this man and suffered a terrible humiliation because of his ignorance of poetry, and so upon his return to Kyoto, he became a student of Teitoku and never abandoned his studies in poetry till he had established himself as an independent poet. It was generally believed that Teishitsu gave instruction in poetry free of charge to anyone from this village throughout his life. It must be admitted, however, that this is already a story of long ago.

My companion, Sora, was seized by an incurable pain in his stomach. So he decided to hurry, all by himself, to his relatives in the village of Nagashima in the province of Ise. As he said good-bye he wrote:

No matter where I fall
On the road
Fall will I to be buried
Among the flowering bush-clovers.

I felt deeply in my heart both the sorrow of one that goes and the grief of one that remains, just as a solitary bird separated from his flock in dark clouds, and wrote in answer:

From this day forth, alas,
The dew-drops shall wash away
The letters on my hat
Saying 'A party of two.'



Oku no Hosomichi, cuaderno de viaje, del gran Poeta de Haiku, Matshuo Bashô.



  1. Prologue
  2. Departure
  3. Soka
  4. Muronoyashima
  5. Nikko
  6. Nasu
  7. Kurobane
  8. Unganji
  9. Sesshoseki
  10. Shirakawa
  11. Sukagawa
  12. Asaka
  13. Shinobu
  14. Sato Shoji
  15. Iizaka
  16. Kasajima
  17. Takekuma
  18. Sendai
  19. Tsubo no Ishibumi
  20. Shiogama
  21. Matsushima
  22. Ishinomaki
  23. Hiraizumi
  24. Dewagoe
  25. Obanazawa
  26. Ryushakuji
  27. Oishida
  28. Mogamigawa
  29. Hagurosan
  30. Gassan
  31. Sakata
  32. Kisigata
  33. Echigo
  34. Ichiburi
  35. Kanazawa
  36. Komatsu
  37. Natadera
  38. Daishoji
  39. Maruoka
  40. Fukui
  41. Tsuruga
  42. Ironohama
  43. Ogaki
  44. Postscript

Bosque de Bambú, Camino del Haiku.Camino del Haiku