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Basho and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with Commentary
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Basho and His Interpreters: Selected Hokku with Commentary

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  55 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
This book has a dual purpose. The first is to present in a new English translation 255 representative hokku (or haiku) poems of Matsuo Basho (1644-94), the Japanese poet who is generally considered the most influential figure in the history of the genre. The second is to make available in English a wide spectrum of Japanese critical commentary on the poems over the last th ...more
Paperback, 468 pages
Published May 1st 1995 by Stanford University Press (first published 1991)
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Shawn
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: haiku novices and experts
Shelves: japaneselit
If you have to read one book on haiku all year, this is the one to read. In depth 'discussion' between commentators of Basho's haikus throughout the ages. Top notch book. I've read this one several times, and I plan on going back and rereading it again and again. Every time through, I gain additional insight on Basho's haikus.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Basho, he singlehandedly made haiku a respectable art. He was a master craftsman and to this day is the greatest haiku master of
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Christopher Taylor
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ueda provides English readers with both an excellent introduction to Basho and an opportunity for an ongoing conversation with this most Japanese of poets. Each poem in this extensive collection includes an English translation, a romanized version of the Japanese, a word-for-word literal translation and a selection of comments by prominent Japanese writers and critics across the centuries. There is also a brief introduction to Basho and Japanese poetry at the beginning of the book. This wealth o ...more
Ad Blankestijn
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: haiku, poetry
One of the best books on Basho's haiku. Basho's haiku are not the simple Zen-like nature poems that they are often made out to be, reading them in translation without any commentary is in fact impossible, for you will miss what they are really about (such as praise of the host at the start of a haiku gathering). Makoto Ueda provides a wide spectrum of Japanese critical commentary over the last three hundred years on the 255 haiku he translates here, besides offering his own perceptive remarks. H ...more
CX Dillhunt
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essay, poetry
the definitive edition, takes years to read & study this edition, incredible reference, the one I go back to for haiku & Basho & Japanese philosophy and the history of poetics/religion...shows how haiku was a way of life for Basho & his followers, great understaning & interpretation/translations of the poems & their development by Makato Ueda
Kit
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recentlyread
Basho is a well that never runs dry. Ueda's translations are strong and the conversations among critics through the centuries are amazing. This is one of the greatest books I have ever read. Ten stars.
jacob-felix
best basho translations i've found, ambiguity preserved, original japanese included, interesting commentary collected
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Makoto Ueda (上田 真 Ueda Makoto, born 1931) is a professor emeritus of Japanese literature at Stanford University.

He earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature in 1961.

In 2004-2005 he served as the honorary curator of the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library in Sacramento, California. He was given that honor "in recognition of Ueda’s many decades of academic writing about haiku and
...more
More about Makoto Ueda