Tuesday, July 30, 2002

The author of Notes From Pure Land Mountain lives near the western shore of Lake Biwa. Three hundred and twelve years ago the haiku poet (and proto-blogger?) Basho lived in a hut on the southern tip of the lake. Here is his report of life there:

In the daytime an old watchman from the local shrine or some villager from the foot of the hill comes along and chats with me about things I rarely hear of, such as a wild boar's looting the rice paddies or a hare's haunting the bean farms. When the sun sets under the edge of the hill and night falls, I quietly sit and wait for the moon. With the moonrise I begin roaming about, casting my shadow on the ground. When the night deepens I return to the hut and meditate on right and wrong, gazing at the dim margin of a shadow in the lamplight. (Translation Makoto Ueda)

Robert Brady's story of an encounter with the descendants of Basho's boars can be found here.

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