April 23, 2011
Haiga 571 Jerry Ball haiku - to the north
Haiku by Jerry Ball. Artwork by myself.
In Basho's time, the areas of Japan north of Sendai, Hiraizumi were considered pioneer lands. Those areas include much of northern part of Hoshu Island (the biggest island) and also whole of Hokkaido Island. For Basho, the trip to the deep north meant traveling the northern end of the then Japan. Far away from economically and culturally booming Edo (Tokyo), to the area near where civilized influences had not reached.
In time, of course, all of those areas became parts of Japan. Now the cities are everywhere, and big ones there are connected with the Shinkansen, the bullet train. After the calamity that devastated good part of the areas, it looks as if the oldern days have returned.They say that the rebuilding will take many years. I certainly hope that the day will come sooner.