In Basho's Footsteps
We will retrace the steps of famous poet Basho, on a 1200ml trek through Japan, to create art
In May 1689 the great Haiku poet Matsuo Basho sold his house and began travelling north through Japan. His written impressions of the journey, over 1200 miles later, became The Narrow Road to the Deep North, a compilation of travel sketches in prose and verse which is a famous reminder of Basho’s ongoing legacy. In June 2014, 325 years later, Pablo Fernandez and Anya Gleizer, two artists currently living and working in Edinburgh, Scotland, will retrace Basho’s footsteps. Together they will create a collaborative piece, possibly in the form of an Artists Book, compiling poetry, art, photography and prose to make a beautiful and accurate impression of their journey, but also to underscore the changes that have taken place in Japan in the last three centuries.
We have created a Kickstarter to raise funds. (http://kck.st/R4qBvx) Check it out! Adventure and art put together: Help us launch a truly inter-medial project and get some great original artwork in return!
Basho, renowned by many as the founder of the contemporary haiku poetic style, believed deeply in the power and relevance of nature to all art. We share this view. The constant changes we experience on the road bring us closer to the essence of the landscape we travel through. One cannot take in a country or a culture from behind a car window, and it is important to us not only to follow the path Basho wove through Japan, but also to echo his unhurried method of travel by repeating the trek under only human power. All over the north of Honshu (Japan’s main island) Basho captured the essence of his experiences, from his descriptions of the Toso-gu shrine in Nikko, to Shirakawa castle, to the pine-clad islands of Matsushima. Myazawa (the 20th century poet) once said, “It was as if the very soul of Japan had itself written it".
We are both artists and travellers, and for us, Basho’s narrow road represents the ideal of art and the spirit of adventure. We will fly to Tokyo the 5th of June, (Edo in Basho’s time, and the starting point of his journey). For three months we will walk through all the places Basho walked, camping on the open, and the most important of all, producing art.