Japanese poetry is well-known for its clarity and concision, and Narrow Road to the Interior and H?j?ki are two of the best-loved, and most intensely Japanese, works of their kind; famous for their beautiful, delicate verse and subtle insight into the human condition. It has been said of Narrow Road that ‘it was as if the very soul of Japan had itself written it’. It takes the form of a travel diary, and traces the poet’s journey from Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to the northern interior. H?j?ki, a much earlier work written by Ch?mei, a Buddhist hermit, is essentially a meditation on the transience of the world. Read by the famous classical Japanese actor Togo Igawa, the full beauty of its ancient cadences and rhythms is drawn out.