Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities
2006—2007 Forum on Travel
Philosophy, Religious Studies
"The Journey Itself Home": Wandering Poets of Japan
In traveling, the journey itself is conventionally conceived of as a means to an end—a process that would not be chosen but for the destination, which is always in mind. For the Japanese poets Saigyo (1118–1190) and Basho (1640–1694), the act of traveling was much more than a disposable means. For them, the journey itself was an end, each fleeting moment a Mecca in their quest to realize and embody spiritual truth. In what ways was travel integral to the life and work of these two brilliant artists and spiritual wayfarers?