“[Matsuo] Basho wrote little about the Tokaido, which was much too common for his taste, but memories of his passing through and of the night he stopped there lingered in Okitsu, and a couple of generations later a poetry club of that day put up a monument by the side of the highway, and on it they engraved one of Basho’s poems. No one today knows why they chose the poem they did. Perhaps it has some association with Okitsu which has now been lost. It can be translated:
When the autumn wind is blowing,
It is lonely everywhere.
– Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)”
– Japanese Inn, Oliver Statler, 1961
Okitsu was the seventeenth of the fifty-three stations of the Tōkaidō highway connecting the Imperial capital at Kyoto with Edo, the administrative capital of the Tokugawa shogunate. It is located near Shizuoka. The area quickly developed into a summer seaside resort for the aristocracy, politicians and noted literary figures in the Meiji and Taisho periods.