Oku no Hosomichi and Tosa Nikki: Compare and Contrast

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Comparing Oku no Hosomichi and Tosa Nikki within reason is very difficult because of the many factors that must be taken into account. The authors were from different time periods, the writing style is different, the subject is different, and many other things all contribute to its difficulty. While there are many differences there are perhaps an equal number of similarities between the two works, which offers a converse view of the relationship between them. In regards to the authors of Oku no Hosomichi and Tosa Nikki, Matsuo Bashō and Ki no Tsurayuki respectively, there are several points of interest when comparing them. One of the main points is that the authors lived in completely different times, which shows in their style of…show more content…
Oku no Hosomichi is arguably an evolved form of Tosa Nikki as it is reminiscent of the Tosa Nikki in many ways. Also in regards to religion, it is a very distinguishable point that there was a great deal of religion in Oku no Hosomichi which was not present in Tosa Nikki. There are many easily discernable religious themes like impermanence, karma, and even Chinese concepts like yin and yang. This is a key point in looking at the Oku no Hosomichi because of the fact that Matsuo Bashō frequently referenced many famous religious poets like Saigyō. In terms of rhetoric there is an emphasis on the poetry in both works. Much of the poetry in the Tosa Nikki reflects grief and tragedy which complements the overall theme of the work. Alternately, the Oku no Hosomichi has poetry that focuses on nature and distinguishes itself in its more blatant and somewhat vulgar advances. The poetry of the Tosa Nikki was also placed towards the occasion as an accompaniment and while the poetry of Oku no Hosomichi was also in accompaniment to the situation, Bashō many times also included the back story to the poem in detail. It is also important to note that the Tosa Nikki was written in a combination of prose and the more traditional waka, while the Oku no Hosomichi was written in both prose and haiku. Also the writing of the Tosa Nikki was in Chinese characters mainly because the

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