Travels with a Writing Brush

Travels with a Writing Brush

Classical Japanese Travel Writing from the Manyoshu to Basho


Shortlisted for the NSW Translation Prize

Discover a realm of travel writing undreamed of in the West - a richly literary tradition extending through a thousand years and more, whose individual works together weave a dense and beautiful brocade of repeated patterns and motifs, tones and textures. Here are asobi, the wandering performers who prefigured geisha; travelling monks who sleep on pillows of grass and listen to the autumnal insects; and a young girl who passionately longs to travel to the capital and read more stories. Taking in songs, dramas, tales, diaries and above all, poetry, this wonderful anthology roams over mountains and along perilous shores to show how profoundly travel inspired the Japanese imagination.


  • A delightful anthology that traces the evolution of travel writing in Japan through diaries, stories, drama and poetry ... In this remarkable work of translation and scholarship, filled with wonderful vignettes of Japanese life and sensibility, McKinney introduces readers to the nation's rich and unique literary tradition
    P.D James, The Guardian

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