MATSUO BASHO: THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH
Text topic: Globalization and Intermediality
Text author: Хироши Јамасаки Вукелић
The Serbian edition of The Narrow Road to Deep North (Uske staze ka Dalekom severu) by Matsuo Basho has a specific feature - the illustrations by Yosa Buson, the greatest haiku poet in the history of this poetry next to Matsuo Basho. He used to be a popular painter. As a great admirer of Basho’s work, he has made a dozen versions of illustrations for his Narrow Road, out of which one screen wall and two scralls remained. This book shows all fourteen pictures and one drawing (Stone Pillar Cubo) from the scrall dating back to 1779. Such a concept of Basho travels is novel even to Japan. The Narrow Road to the Deep North is said to be the most read piece of classical Japanese literature. For many Japanese it is a cult book. What is it about this Basho work written in the 17th century that attracts so the Japanese people living in the 21st century? Is it the free spirit of an eternal traveller liberated from everyday constraints? Or is it the author’s sincere, almost naive, relation to history which is sometimes welcome in the uncertain world we live in? Or, maybe, his infinite philantropy that radiates from every page of the book? In all probability it is a bit of everything.