Talk:Oku no Hosomichi

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This article would be better served with the addition of one or more category tags. ... said somebody, without signing it


Is "Ogaki" Ōgaki in Gifu-ken? Either way, a link, explanation or both would help. -- Hoary 09:58, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it seems to be. Or so I learn from the excellent map at the back of the first-rate photo collection Shin Oku no hosomichi by Takanashi Yutaka. -- Hoary 13:42, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
It can also be written as Oogaki as well.--Susuki 03:12, 28 September 2006 (UTC)


I know of one photographic reexploration, Takanashi's 新おくのほそ道, and I'm pretty sure I've seen others. Amazon shows Lesley Downer, On the Narrow Road to the Deep North: Journey into a Lost Japan; Edward Bond, The Bundle; or, New Narrow Road to the Deep North (aka Narrow Road to the Deep North) and some other books that might either be interesting or or just play on the title with no particular significance. If the former, they might be added. -- Hoary 10:33, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

The most famous quote[edit]

Can someone translate this, please? Many readers of the English Wikipedia are not conversant with Japanese. -- llywrch 00:41, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

The format's not great, but I've added what I'm pretty sure is a translation. --Gwern (contribs) 03:15, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Your addition is definitely a needed improvement. Thanks. --

llywrch 04:57, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

The translation[edit]

The Donald Keene translation posted here is not a translation of this whole passage, only of the middle part. It leaves out the very famous first two sentences or so, and the last part containing the poem. I am working on a translation that I will maybe post later. The initial part says something like this: "The days and months are travelers passing through a hundred ages. The years going by are travelers too. Those who spend their lives in a boat on the water, or driving a horse, until old age comes to meet them, they live the traveler's life day after day; the place they live in is travel."

Then comes the part that is already on the page. After that, it says something like, "Already while mending the rips in my pants, tying a strap to my bamboo hat, and applying moxa for endurance, I was remembering the old feeling about the moon over Matsushima...I turned my house over to someone, moved to Sampu for a temporary stay. I posted this poem--

Even the door is grassy... But for the generation moving in, there'll be the doll festival

--as the beginning of a sequence on a pillar of my house."

This is my original translation. It is quite a close translation, more literal than most published ones, but is unpolished. --

lotuspetal7 17:20, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Well buddy, it is has finally been taken care of since I chose to simply quote the whole first section. As long as we don't get into trouble in terms of copyrights and all, I don't think we'll be needing an "unofficial" translation for the article, but that might come in handy one day. On the other hand, I remember the disastrous effects of having a "free" translation featured in an article... The Ame ni mo Makezu page has forever been subjected to (admittedly very slow) editing wars as various amateur translators and japanophiles battle for their own vision/version of what the correct or appropriate translation should be. I take what's happened to that article as a cautionary tale for any pages where an open literary text is left at the mercy of just about anyone with a superiority complex.
• H☼ωdΘesI†fl∉∈ {KLAT} • 21:32, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I would advise against any unofficial translations of these types of work as they can be seen as original research. Yoenit (talk) 21:39, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

External Links - copyvio?[edit]

Among the external links is one to a very complete site at the University of Oregon, containing the text of ONH in five different translations to English. I understand WP policy precludes linking to external sites which are in breach of copyright. The site in question appears prima facie to be in just such violation. I can find no info re copyright nor about who is responsible for the site (which apparently has not been updated since 2002). However there is an email link, and I have written requesting clarification on this issue. If I do not receive a satisfactory answer within one week I will remove the link. If anyone can provide further info please do.
--Yumegusa (talk) 18:03, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Site editor has replied recommending that we remove the link as there "may be copyright issues involved". Removing
--Yumegusa (talk) 19:39, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Seeds in the Heart[edit]

The "Plot" section currently cites two references to "Seeds in the Heart" without any details of this publication. Can anyone supply the needed detail?
--Yumegusa (talk) 21:02, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorta off subject, but...[edit]

What does no mean in Japanese, I hear it a lot on titles of Japanese books and movies and stuff...Pvmillennium (talk) 00:00, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

It's the genitive case particle. So Oku no hosomichi means "oku's hosomichi" or "interior's narrow-road". -- Hoary (talk) 01:18, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Alright, thanks. Pvmillennium (talk) 01:19, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
And there's this, too. -- Hoary (talk) 03:03, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Section "Significance in the Global Literary Canon"[edit]

Parking this here for discussion:

[[Basho]] saw [[poetry]] as a process of [[meditation]] concerned with the art of describing the brief appearances of the everlasting self, of [[eternity]], in the circumstances of the world. We get a sense of this [[ethical]] purpose in his writing at the commencement of Narrow Road to the Deep North. In a more lonely and perhaps more profound pilgrimage than [[Chaucer]] depicted in the [[Canterbury Tales]], Dr [[Samuel Johnson]] in [[Rasselas]], or, in more recent times, [[Cormac McCarthy]] in [[The Road]], Basho reflects on mortality in intermingled poetry and prose as he journeys north from shrine to shrine. ''“Days and months are travellers of eternity. So are the years that pass by. Those who steer a boat across the sea, or drive a horse over the earth till they succumb to the weight of years, spend every minute of their lives travelling.”'' Basho saw his [[haiku]] poetry as designed to capture with surgical precision the moment of insight when the eternal enters our world.<ref>Yuasa, Nobuyuki, trans. Introduction to ''The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches.''Penguin Books, 1966</ref> Our reading intellectual rubs against the words, till it parts to let insight reveal the meaning, the ethical truth. As an example: ''We gaze Even at horses, This morn of snow!'' How little this might mean until we begin to imagine people opening the door on a bright morning after a snowstorm. Everything is now dazzling white and the poor pack-horses that the eyes of the humans had avoided from pity or indifference the day before are now objects of wonder as the stand out in the landscape. Those readers whose [[consciousness]] may be incapable or only partially aware of such a revelation, are given the chance to obtain a fresh and more ethical way of looking at the world. The place of this text in the global [[literary canon]] seems assured. <ref>TA Faunce 'Literature and Ethics' Working Paper. (accessed 21 June 2009)</ref>

The section has multiple issues. It appears to be largely WP:ORiginal research - the PDF reference at the end is to the editor's own work, on staff webspace at ANU; in tone and style it resembles an essay, being polemic rather than encyclopaedic. Moreover, it is packed with unreferenced non-WP:NEUtral assertions. In its current state it degrades the article substantially, but I've parked it here in case any editor cares to attempt to salvage anything of it.

Please do not reinstate it without prior discussion of the above issues here. --Yumegusa (talk) 10:06, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree second half can be deleted. But I think first half substantially improves the article particularly by beginning to set it in global literary context. Surely this is important. The reference is published as a working paper. Surely this is a section you'd wish scholars to expand over the years. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fauncet (talkcontribs) 18:59, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Your recent edits, Fauncet, represent a major improvement. I have no objection to such a section per se. However, please explain how you can claim that using your own work as a reference avoids WP:ORiginal research. There is no evidence in the reference to suggest that your paper has been published independently: it has been uploaded to the staff webspace at your institution. Please refer to WP:Reliable and explain how this can be acceptable. Also, please provide the page number for the Shirane citation. Lastly, please sign your Talk page posts by typing --~~~~ --Yumegusa (talk) 19:48, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Prepared to concede on my paper (at least until it is published, then I might reapproach). But I think a section on critical analysis of the text in global literary context (particularly pilgrimage literature) adds value and that it is important this entry (in an English not a Japanese encycopaedia) starts to critically analyse this text (its faults and stregths) by comparison with other world literature. Although the point isn't made so clearly this intro does suggest such a comparison to Nobuyuki Yuasa in Basho: The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Baltimore: Penguin, 1966).Fauncet (talk) 03:49, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Can I suggest you or other editors also start paras on 1) Basho's literary and other influences in writing the text and 2) mentions of the text in later Japanese and world literature

Thanks. Again, please provide page numbers for your inline citations - see WP:CITE--Yumegusa (talk) 08:39, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I have added this to editor Fauncet's talk page:

Fourth request for page numbers in your references[edit]

I must ask you again to provide page numbers for the refs you added at Oku no Hosomichi. As earlier commented, the statements in question appear prima facie to be wp:or and when you were initially asked for a page number for the ref you provided for the first sentence, you changed the ref to another book, again without page number. You have since edited the page further, but have not provided the full references, making your text impossible to wp:Verify. There will remain no choice but to remove the section in question unless this matter is addressed. --Yumegusa (talk) 20:02, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Section removed as unreferenced - see above. Please provide full refs incl page numbers if reinstating - see Wikipedia:Cite#Including_page_numbers. --Yumegusa (talk) 19:25, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

American vs British spelling[edit]

As there seems to be a great number of illiterate and uncultured amongst Wikipedia editors, I shall provide a small crash course on spelling differences as it pertains to this article:

  1. There are different ways to write and spell the English language, most prominent being the "American" way and the "British" way.
  2. Let's take for example the word... "traveller", which is found in Donald Keene's translation published by Kodansha in 1996.
  3. In British English one would normally write "traveller", whereas in American English most would spell it "traveler".
  4. Your humble teacher—me—doesn't have the slightest idea as to why an American translator would choose a predominantly "British" spelling in his work, but that's just the way it is.
  5. The course is over. Doesn't it make everything clearer? So get over it!

Please visit the article American and British English spelling differences, which is most interesting and enlightening. Thank you and God bless the piss-poor (which, by the way, can also be written "piss poor") education systems.
• H☼ωdΘesI†fl∉∈ {KLAT} • 21:12, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

How about you focus your literate and cultured self on writing a section explaining these opening sentences and what is so brilliant about them so it actually becomes a pertinent quote instead of a decorative one, instead of making snide comments on the talkpage? Yoenit (talk) 21:55, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

WP: Japan Assessment Commentary[edit]

The article was assessed as Start-class, for lack of Coverage and References. The article would benefit from sections describing the impact of this work, the significance of the particular passage that is quoted, and a referenced section on critics' analyses. The philosophy section is broad, most of it has to do with Basho's work in general, and it is pretty vague.Boneyard90 (talk) 19:59, 4 May 2012 (UTC)