Goto oku no hosomichi [trans.: The Narrow Road of Oku].
by SHUNSEI DO [YAGI], Oshuku, artist.
Eleven double-page & three single-page finely color-printed woodcuts. 29; 26 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo, orig. orange wrappers, title labels on upper covers, new stitching. Osaka: 1858. A picture scroll created in 1770 by Yosa Buson, the great Nanga painter and haiku poet, entitled "Oku no hosomichi emaki" (today an "important cultural object" at Kyoto National Museum) was based on a travel journal -- entitled "The Narrow Road to the Interior" -- kept by Matsuo Basho, written in the late 17th century. Basho's diary is considered one of the major texts of classical Japanese literature. This picture scroll is part of the genre called "haiga" (sketches used to illustrate the themes of haiku and haikai) and a number of books in this style followed by well-known artists in the "Narrow Road" tradition. The present work is one of the rarest in the genre (WorldCat locates only the 1983 reprint). It is illustrated by eleven double-page and three single-page illustrations, all delicately color-printed, of Matuso Basho and his travelling companion Kawai Sora. The woodblock calligraphy throughout is of the highest quality. In fine and fresh condition with excellent coloring. The first two leaves of Vol. I slightly soiled. . (Inventory #: HillBibl-5215)
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