Essays in Idleness: The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko [Kenko, Donald Keene] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Essays in Idleness has ratings and 62 reviews. Steve said: The great Buddha in Kamakura If man were never to fade away like the dews of Adashino,.. . Essays in Idleness has 1 rating and 1 review. J. Watson (aka umberto) said: starsWritten some years ago by a Japanese Buddhist monk named Yosh.

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As a westerner, or maybe just as a modern tskrezuregusa, I found that I vehemently disagreed with a lot of Kenko’s statements, but that made for more interesting reading – by reading them I was imbibing a point of kenkk that is so startlingly different from my own.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. In relation to the concept of impermanence, his works links to the fondness of the irregular and incomplete, and the beginnings and ends of things. Notes on historical importance of each section would have been helpful, instead of the too brief and diffuse Introduction.

This may be a worthwhile read to those with an interest in religion, Japanese buddhism, or Japanese literary history.

It would be interesting to read it in Japanese but let’s face it, my proficiency is no where near what is necessary and even my sensei has said that it’s hard for the Japanese to understand it. The definitive English translation is by Donald Keene The great Buddha in Kamakura If man were never to fade away like the dews of Adashino, never to vanish like the smoke over Toribeyama, but lingered on forever in this world, how things would lose their power to move us!

Kenko relates the impermanence of life to the beauty of nature in an insightful manner. And then I found out I was going to Japan. Refresh and try again. Brief and of dubious practicality, these pithy observations nevertheless show us part of a mind that took an encyclopaedic interest in the world: It has a fresh, modern effect, rather like reading a blog post today.


Existential, poetic musings by a 14th century Buddhist monk. Though not all warm and fuzzy it was written inso expect some misogyny Essays in Idleness is a generally pleasant Medieval Japanese history, cultural criticism, Buddhist meditations, and personal musings coexist happily in this charming book. Irregularity and incompleteness of collections and works show the potential for growth and improvement, and the impermanence of its state provides a moving framework towards appreciation towards life.

It’s interesting to see how different translators take on the same work.

Kenko’s Essays in Idleness – Articles – Hermitary

Despite tsurezurfgusa turbulent times in which he lived, the Buddhist priest Kenko met the world with a measured eye. Despite the fact that its composition took place while Japan was embroiled in a civil war, the Tsurezuregusa serenely takes no notice of such matters; indeed, Kenko claimed he was writing his text out of sheer boredom.

There were plenty of times were a passage would make me stop, put the kejko down, and think about it for a while. True, some feeling folk may gaze with pity tsurezureguss what is now but the growth of grasses of succeeding springs; but at last there comes a day when even the pine trees that groaned in the storms, not lasting out their thousand years of life, are split for fuel, and the ancient grave, dug up and turned to rice-field, leaves never a trace behind.

I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? Jan 28, V rated it it was amazing. This book was an earlier translation by George Samson.

If the outward form is not at variance with the truth, an inward realization is certain to develop. When in the Emperor Go-Daigo returned triumphantly to Kyoto from exile to mark the end of the Kamakura Shogunate and the rule of the samurai, Yoshida Kenko – a middle ranking court officer and Buddhist monk- mu The great Buddha in Kamakura If man were never to fade away like the dews of Adashino, never to vanish like the smoke over Toribeyama, but lingered on forever in this world, how things would lose their power to move us!

But there were definitely other times when I found myself disagreeing with the author, even rolling my eyes ksnko how he t The thing I enjoyed most about reading this was getting a feel for the author through each essay. Some of it was uninteresting to me though, and did not translate at all. Return to Book Page. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Odleness book is not yet featured on Listopia. Want to Read saving….


They go into the mountain forests to live as hermits only to find the life unendurable without some means of allaying their hunger and shielding themselves from the storms. What a moving experience that is! I think it’s a really great way to essayz the culture of that period and once you know that the religious aspect is there and really, it’s very obviousyou can always take a step back whenever you feel uncomfortable.

The mind invariably reacts in this way to any stimulus.

Essays in Idleness: The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko

Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. I feel I got a lot out of it this time through, and saw a lot more wisdom in there than I had previously encountered.

Still, if you had to choose one translation of this work to read, I’d go tsurezuretusa Keene’s translation if you can get it.

Trivia About Essays in Idlenes Interestingly, Passagesand in Sansom’s Essays have since been omitted, however, we can read them by Dr McKinney’s Essays as follows: It is such pride as this that makes a man appear a fool, makes him abused by others, and invites disaster. As I tear up scraps of old correspondence I should prefer not to leave behind, I sometimes find among them samples of the calligraphy of a friend who has died, or pictures he drew for his own amusement, and I feel exactly as I did at the time.

Of particular interest are his thoughts on aesthetics, the nature of the beautiful. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Oh, how I wanted to love this book!