A Visit to the Shirakawa Barrier
The following is a continuation of Robert Garrity’s story describing his walk across Japan; a journey replicating haiku poet Matsuo Basho’s 1,500-mile journey from Fukagawa, Tokyo to Japan’s northern wilderness, as detailed in Basho’s world-famous travel diary, “Oku no Hosomichi.” Garrity began the first leg of his journey in the summer of 1994, and he continues walking different segments each time he returns to Japan.
Shortly after my military assignment to Japan in late 1957, I developed an interest in Japanese history. I have had an interest in history most of my life, so my newly developed interest in Japanese history was not a surprise. In the late ‘50s, however, the availability of books on Japanese history in English was rather limited. I read every book I could beg, borrow, or even steal. Occasionally in my reading, I would come across a geographical location called the Shirakawa Barrier.