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KJ 14
published April 20, 1990
66 pages (bookzine)

cover-wide

Cover Image: JAL Okinawa TV commercial with Kome Kome Club

The moon and sun are travelers through eternity. Even the years wander on. Whether drifting through life on a boat or climbing toward old age leading a horse, each day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.
—Basho (1644-1694), Oku no hosomichi

Basho rose long before dawn, but even at such an early hour, he knew the day would grow rosy bright. It was spring, 1689. In Ueno and Yanaka, cherry trees were in full blossom, and hundreds of families would soon be strolling under their branches, lovers walking and speaking softly or not at all. But it wasn’t cherry blossoms that occupied his mind. He had long dreamed of crossing the Shirakawa Barrier into the heart of northern Honshu, the country called Oku lying immediately to the north of the city of Sendai. He had patched his old cotton trousers and repaired his straw hat. He had placed his old thatched-roof hut in another’s care and moved several hundred feet down the road to the home of his disciple-patron, Mr. Sampu, making final preparations before embarkation.

Basho himself would leave behind a number of gifts upon his death some five years later, among them a journal composed after this journey, his health again in decline, a journal made up in part of fiction or fancy. But during the spring and summer of 1689, he walked and watched. And from early 1690 into 1694, Basho wrote and revised his “travel diary,” Oku no hosomichi, which is not a diary at all. Oku means “within” and “farthest” or “dead-end” place; hosomichi means “path” or “narrow road.” The no indicates a possessive. Oku no hosomichi: the narrow road within; the narrow way through the interior. Basho draws Oku from the place of that name located between Miyagino and Matsushima, but it is a name which inspires plurisignation.— Sam Hamill, Basho’s Ghost

Contents:

Capitalism Triumphant?
The Evidence from No. 1 (Japan) – Gavan McCormack

Reflections on the Human Pump – Jonah Salz

Ransho – Photographs by Sudo Masato

The Chronicles of Hatman: Mind over Mochi – Gregory Myers and Robert Brady

The Flickering of Stars – Paul D. Scott

Silent Landscapes – Ronald Steckel

Cyberjazz Notation: Tokyo Monorail 1989 – Etchings by Dwayne Bohuslav

Basho’s Ghost Sam Hamill

A Vale from a Valet – Pico Iyer

Untying the Gorgeous Knot – Jonah Salz

Yes Bashing – Eric Gower

A Japan the Can Say: “Well, Gosh, If You Really Think We Ought To…” – Robert Brady

Reviews:


 The Japan that Can Say “No”: The Card for a New U.S.-Japan Relationship, by Akio Morio & Shintaro Ishihara — Eric Gower

 

 

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