Walking the Kiso Road: A Modern-day Exploration of Old Japan

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Shambhala, 2015 - History - 239 pages
"Step back into old Japan in this fascinating travelogue of the famous Kiso Road, an ancient route used by samurai and warlords, which remains much the same today as it did hundreds of years ago. Travel with William Scott Wilson, esteemed translator of samurai philosophy, along Japan's famous Kiso Road (Kisoji in Japanese), an ancient and historic route that runs from north to south through the Kiso Valley in the Japanese Alps. The road was officially established in 1602, but ancient records show that it has been in use since at least 701, probably by merchants and hunters. In the seventeenth century, the road was a route for the daimyo (warlords) to travel on their biennial trips--along with their samurai and porters--to the new capital of Edo (now Tokyo). The natural beauty of the route is renowned--and famously inspired a series of woodblock prints by the artist Hiroshige. Walking the Kiso Road is a window into old Japan, and Wilson shares its rich history and lore, literary and artistic significance, cuisine and architecture. Wilson is a delightful and expert guide. His storytelling ability; vast knowledge of Japanese history, literature, and culture; and warm and readable writing style make this a book that will be treasured as much by armchair travelers as by tourists"--

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Walking the Kiso Road: A Modern-Day Exploration of Old Japan

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Samurai expert Wilson (The Book of Five Rings) leads a tour through time and space in this engrossing memoir of his three-week hike in 2013 along a 60-mi. stretch of road that weaves through central ... Read full review

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About the author (2015)

WILLIAM SCOTT WILSON is the foremost translator into English of traditional Japanese texts on samurai culture. He received BA degrees from Dartmouth College and the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies, and an MA in Japanese literary studies from the University of Washington. His best-selling translations include Hagakure, The Book of Five Rings, and Taiko. He is also the author of The Lone Samurai, a biography of the legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi.

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