Asia / Eccentrics / History / Philosophy / Recommended books / Thoughts

Hojoki

Over time, I have noticed that I am increasingly interested in essays and similar forms of literature, as well as in poems, while my interest in novels and fiction has decrease (with a few exceptions). One of my favorite texts is the Hojoki, a Japanese autobiographic text written by  Kamo no Chōmei ( 1153 or 1155–1216).

File:Kamo no Chomei.jpg

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kamo_no_Chomei.jpg)

You can find a translation of this text here: http://www.washburn.edu/reference/bridge24/Hojoki.html.

For me, this short text is one of the great works of the world’s literature. This text touches me.

…there is a small boy there.  Sometimes he comes to visit me.  When I am bored with what I am doing, he may become my companion on the walks I take.  He is ten years old and I am sixty.  The age difference is great, but the pleasure we take in walking is the same….

9 thoughts on “Hojoki

    • Thank you, that looks interesting. From Sunday on, I will have a little bit more time to read (including some of your articles :-)).
      Since this is a classical text of Japanese literature and one of the older ones, there is probably a lot of secondary literature about it, but probably most of it in Japanese. I have not yet searched systematically, but I find this very interesting.

      • I copied Hojoki from the link you provided and pasted it into a Word document, which I then converted to a PDF document and saved to my library. I shall read it at the first opportunity. It appears to be pretty short so it shouldn’t take much time.

    • Just follow the link under the sketch. You can download it from there. It is a public domain file that you can copy. The artist who made the drawing, Kikuchi Yosai, died in 1878, so the copyright has expired.

  1. I know of another story, a much older woman in the doctor’s waiting room being entertained by a girl dressed as a fairy. The woman promised her she would wave to her from her cloud when the girl comes flying by. They made a pact. Enchanting.

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