You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
On a Bare Branch: Bashō and the Haikai Profession
Steven D. Carter
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 117, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1997), pp. 57-69
Published by: American Oriental Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/605622
Page Count: 13
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Matsuo Bashō's decision to leave his burgeoning practice as a "marker" in Nihonbashi in the winter of 1680 and move across the river to take up a more solitary and frugal life in Fukagawa has always mystified scholars. Most see his act as evidence of a new "seriousness" of purpose, a desire to pursue spiritual rather than material goals. However, when viewed as a professional choice, Bashō's move was a precedented act with implications readily understandable to those in the world of haikai society. That he stopped working as a "marker" did not mean that he stopped practicing his profession. Indeed, it is argued here, his action was as an instance of what those in the highest ranks of a profession are always wont to do: to test their competence in a wider arena, and by so doing to claim a transcendent status for themselves and their occupations.
Journal of the American Oriental Society © 1997 American Oriental Society