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In Buddhism there are a few core principles broken up into; The three Universal truths, the four Noble truths, and the noble eightfold path (Saisuta, Para. 5). It is a religion of self-discovery. Here in the Narrow Road to the Deep North, we see Matsuo’s journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. The closing statements of the book perfectly summarizes his intended goals and ultimately what he hopes to achieve. The Four Noble truths of Buddhism (Saisuta, Para. 17) are Dukkha, the acknowledgement that suffering is in the world. Samudaya, suffering is controlled by attachment to pleasures in the world. Nirodha, the only end to suffering is through self-denial by overcoming attachment. Finally, Magga, to accomplish and rid oneself of suffering, one must follow the Eightfold path. We see in the final chapter that Matsuo was no stranger to suffering during his travels. Paraphrasing Matsuo says, around every bend and every corner were potential areas for heartache and setbacks that would bring anyone to their knees (Narrow Road, Basho, Chapter 44). But concluding with What a road it was and what a man that experienced it. Going through the lows of his journey allowed him to appreciate the highs.

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Work Cited

Basho, Matsuo. “Narrow Road to the Deep North.” Matsuo Basho’s Narrow Road to the Deep North, Terebess Asia Online (TAO), 0AD,


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