How does Bashō’s journey, perhaps especially the spiritual side of that journey, connect to the course motif of dealing with others?

Learning Goal: I’m working on a english writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.Before you can write this assignment, you must do one new reading: The Narrow Road to the Deep North, a famous travel journal by the Japanese poet Basho, written in the 1600s. The item below this reflection assignment gives you a link to a PDF version of this. NOTE: The assigned reading (the travel journal itself) ends on page 52. (TIP: Most of the pages contain only one or several short paragraphs and are nowhere near full pages, so this reading is shorter than the 52 pages makes it appear.)Summary of the work: The work was written by Bashō in the late 17th century CE, about 1695. It is a type of travel journal, or memoir. In 1689, he and a companion, Sora, left for the mostly unsettled area of Japan, in the northeast. This was roughly a circular journey by foot, covering about five months. Most scholars believe that the work is to a great degree a literal tale of the trip, but also somewhat fictionalized in the telling. It portrays an idealized world for a poet: traveling and writing short poems, called haiku. There are about 50 or so sections, loosely connected. The basic pattern of the journey is to seek out famous, ancient places with connections to famous long-dead poets. It is thus a kind of pilgrimage, a worship of ancestors (poetic ancestors). In writing this, Bashō went against the grain of typical Japanese travel memoirs, which had the purpose of reinforcing the society’s high regard for its ancestors. Bashō did that, but at the same time, he also went further, by trying to bring new poetic insights to ancient, well-known places. That is, he sought inspiration for his own poetry by visiting the old shrines.Fuses haiku and prose: The form is called ‘haibun,’ a fusing of short haiku poems and prose—an innovation of Bashō. (A “haiku” is a very short, three-line poem of 17 syllables, which typically would begin with a visual image, often from nature, then comment on it.) He would fuse the two forms by writing a prose description of one destination—a temple, for example, along with its history and claim to fame—and then end that section or link with a climactic haiku, a try at capturing and conveying a sense of the sacred quality of that particular place.How to write this assignment:In order to do this reflection on The Narrow Road to the Deep North, you first need to read the work itself, as listed above.Both literal and spiritual journeys: Bashō tried to honor old traditions by modifying them in new ways in his haiku poems about each stop on the journey. The difficult journey that is the subject matter of the work happens on two levels. The journey takes place literally, in the physical difficulties of an extended walking journey, but also spiritually. Here is the focus for your reflection; please write one paragraph on each question, about 150 to 200 words per paragraph: How is the travel a spiritual journey, and not merely a literal/physical undertaking? (HINT: Focus on how he seeks inspiration for his own poetry, his haiku.) Please include one or several specific examples.
How does Bashō’s journey, perhaps especially the spiritual side of that journey, connect to the course motif of dealing with others? (HINT: Here, the ‘Other’ is the famous poet or historical figure for whom any particular shrine or temple was built.) Again, please include one or several specific examples.
Requirements: one paragraph on each question   |   .doc file

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