The Ryokō yōjinshū (旅行用心集) was a travel guide published in 1810, written by Yasumi Roan.
Chapter themes are included below with choice examples from each one:
- Introduction from the author.
- Sixty One tips on travel.
- You should not reach out your hands for fruit grown in gardens at the side of the road.
- If people complain about your actions in an area that is not your own, you will not win the arguement, whether you are right or wrong.
- When one goes to a new place, various ways of speaking and customs will be different.
- Concerning change in water and how it affects your stomach.
- When a person goes from a hot area to a cold one, his is stricken by the whether. The opposite, does not occour.
- When river fish are put in a pond on level ground, after a while they become puzzled.
- Travel in cold Provinces.
- Even a person who can drink sake should never drink a lot. It makes your body feel warm, and you will think a blizzard is a small matter.
- Avoiding wild animals.
- Traveling on a boat.
- When boarding a boat, first place all items in the middle of the vessel.
- Avoiding sea-sickness.
- If you wrap a little bit of soil and place it above your navel, you will not get sick.
- If you wrap some sulphur in paper and put it in your breast pocket, you will not get sea sick.
- Avoiding being sick on a palanquin.
- When a woman mounts a horse or rides a palanquin, she should wrap a sash tightly around the pit of her stomach.
- Treatment for falling off a horse.
- A horses sweat is extremely poisonous. Do not let it get in your eyes or food.
- Avoiding poisonous insects.
- It is good to carry a small fragrant bag in your pocket.
- Avoiding fleas.
- It is good to place some dried knotweed under your bed.
- Treating fatigue.
- If the arches of your feet become swollen and hurt, mash up earthworms with the mud still on them inot your archers.
- If you have blisters, disolved udon noodle powder into some water and rib it on the blistered area.
- Not being affected by steam.
- If you have a nose bleed that won’t stop pur cool water over your entire body.
- Useful medicine for a trip.
- Kirimogusa – To prevent dampness.
- Personal effects for travelling.
- Ink and brish case.
- Razor for cutting hair.
- A paper lantern.
- Writing a journal on the road.
- When sketching the scenery of rivers and mountains, you should do so just as they are.
- Weather patterns.
- A west or northwest wind means clear skies.
- Wind from the west in autumn means rain.
- Old poems and sayings.
- The mist slipping down the mountain will bring sunshine; Mist climbing up will bring rain.
- Travel poems.
- When taking an inn at first get your bearings, then find the lavatory, how to secure the door, and finally, the source of fire.
- On a long journey don’t take too much gear. Settle on just a few things. Take a lot and you’ll suffer in equal measure.
- During a journey restrain yourself. Though yor anger be hot. Say what needs to be said at a later time.
- Departure poems.
- I’ll put a small dedicated sprig to the god of travel in the garden. And pray until your safe return.
- Hot springs.
- For the first day or two, enter three or four times a day. The old and weak should adjust accordingly. For chronic ailments, going to bath once will not be enough, you should take the treatment many times. Perhaps even for a month or two.1
You can find a free copy of his book HERE. (The book is a scanned copy of an original and is in Japanese).
1. Wilson, W. S. (2016) “Afoot in Japan: A Nineteenth Century Guide to Walking the Back Roads” Shambhala Publications Inc.
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