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With only a few words, a Haiku master can paint a picture so vivid it’s as if the reader is standing beside them — great travel writers have similar abilities. Matsuo Basho was both.

“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” is a fearsome 17th-century poetry collection and an illuminating travelogue, inspired by Basho’s journeys through Japan as he delved into Zen in search of spiritual peace.

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