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Y como podemos hallar la paz/ siquiera fugaz/ en el alma? Hojoki es una de las grandes obras clasicas de la literatura japonesa. Escrita por Kamo-no-Chomei. Japanese chronicler Kamo no Chomei compiled hermit tales. The Hojoki concluded with Chomei’s description of the ten-foot square hut which became his . Kamo no Chomei () was no emperor, but he witnessed a chaotic and He applied his insight to an understanding of his times in the Hojoki, an.

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Authors born between and CE. Transitory Man and His Dwellings. Gale and Fire Storm. The Move Towards Tranquility. The Ten Foot Hut. A House for My Own Needs.

Rely On Your Own Feet. Achieving a Mind at Rest. Kamo no Chomei was born into a family of Shinto priests in Kyoto, Japan, and began hojokk career as a poet at the imperial court.

There Chomei published an essay on poetic technique. He later gave up Shintoism and became a Buddhist monk, spending much of his time as a hermit living in a small, isolated hut.

Chomei wrote the essay An Account of My Hut Hojokiin which he describes the advantages of a life of isolation and tranquility compared to the turbulence, hazards and upheavals of city life. The essay, recognized as a masterpiece in the Japanese essay tradition, is believed hojoji be autobiographical. In it, Chomei explains that he enjoyed the pleasures of writing and music in his hut, two activities that are more often associated with participation in society rather than a life of solitude.

He also writes of the pleasures of enjoying the phenomena of nature, reading Buddhist texts, and engaging in simple forms of companionship. Extracts from his essay follow. Ceaselessly the river flows, and yet the water is never the same, while in the still pools the shifting foam gathers and is gone, never staying for a moment. Even so is man and his habitation.

In the stately ways of our shining capital the dwellings of high and low raise their roofs in rivalry as in the beginning, but few indeed there are that have stood for many generations.

Kamo no Chōmei

This year falling into decay and the next built up again, how often does the mansion of one age turn into the cottages of the next. And so, too, are they who live in them. The streets of the city are thronged as of old, but of the many people we meet there chomel very few are nno that we knew in our youth.

Dead in the morning and born at night, so man goes on forever, unenduring as the foam on the water.

And this man that is born and dies, who knows whence he came and whither he goes? And who knows also why with so much labor he builds his honoki, who knows which will survive the other? The dew may fall and the flower remain, but only hohoki wither in the morning sun, or the dew may stay on the withered flower, but it will not see another evening. During the forty years or so that I have lived since I began to understand the meaning of things I have seen not a few strange happenings.

In the third year of the era Angen [ CE], and the twenty-eighth day of the fourth month I think it was, the wind blew a gale, and at the hour of the Dog 8 p. And everything as far as the Shujaku Gate, the Daikyoku Hall and the Office of Internal Affairs was reduced to ashes in a single night.

They say it started at Higuchi Tominokoji in a temporary structure used as a hospital. Now as the flames came on they spread out like an opened fan, and the remoter houses were smothered in smoke while those nearer roared up in flames.

The sky was dark with ashes and against this black background the fire glowed red like early dawn, while everywhere the flames driven by the wind went leaping on over a space more than a hundred yards wide.

And of those caught by it some fell choked in the smoke, while others were overtaken by the flames and perished suddenly. And those few who managed with difficulty to escape were quite unable to take their goods with them, and how many precious treasures were thus lost none can tell.

Of kammo palaces of the great nobles sixteen were entirely destroyed, and of the houses of lesser people the number is unknown. One third of the city hojooki burnt and many thousands must hojo,i perished, and cattle and horses beyond reckoning. The handiwork of man is a vain thing enough in any place, but to spend money and time on building houses in such a dangerous spot as the capital is foolish indeed beyond measure. And in the Waterless Month sixth [of the fourth year of the era Jisho].

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And this was a dhomei extraordinary thing, for they say that the capital was first fixed here in the August Age of the Mikado Saga, and so it has remained for all these centuries. And thus to change it without any good reason was a very great mistake, and it was no wonder that the people should complain and lament.

Still that was, of course, quite unavailing, and all the inhabitants, beginning with His August Majesty the Mikado, and the ministers and great nobles of the court, had perforce to remove to the new capital at Naniwa in Settsu. And of those who wished to get on in the world who would stay in the former capital? All who coveted court rank, or were the expectant clients of some great lord, bustled about to hijoki away as soon as possible.

It was only a few inflexible people who had nothing to hope for, who stayed behind in the ancient capital. And those mansions that stood so proudly side by side from day to day became more ruinous. Many were broken up and floated down the river Yodo, while hojoji pleasure grounds were turned into ricefields.

And the fashions changed also in these days, so that every one came to ride on horseback, while the more dignified ox-car was quite forsaken. And everybody was scrambling to get land by the Western Sea and none cared for manors in the north and east. Now it happened at this time hojoii I chanced to go down myself to the hojo,i capital in the province of Settsu. And when I came to look at it the site was cramped and too narrow to lay out the Avenues properly.

And the mountains towered over it to the north while the sea hemmed it in on the south and the noise of the waves and the scent of the brine were indeed too much to be borne. The Palace was right up against the hills, a “Log-hut Palace” built of round timbers.

Hosshinshu: Kamo no Chomei’s Hermit Stories – Articles – House of Hermits – Hermitary

It all seemed so very strange and rough, and yet somehow not a little elegant. And as for all those houses that had been broken up and brought down, so that the river was almost dammed up by them, I wondered wherever they were going to put them, for still there was so much empty ground, and very few dwellings had been built. So the old capital was already a waste and the new one not yet made. Every one felt as unsettled as drifting clouds. And the natives of the place were full of complaints over losing their land, while the new inhabitants grumbled at the difficulty of building on such bo site.

And of the people one met in the streets those who ought to have been riding in carriages were on horseback and those who usually wore court costume were in military overcoats.

The whole atmosphere of the capital was altered and they looked like a lot of country samurai. And those who said that these changes were a portent of some civil disturbance seemed to be not without reason, for as time went on things became more and more unquiet and there hojoi a feeling of unrest everywhere.

But the murmurings of the people proved of some effect, for in the following winter they were ordered back to the ancient capital But all the same the houses that had been destroyed and removed could not at once be restored to their former condition.

And if this were not enough, in the era Yowa [ CE] I think it was, but so many years have elapsed that I am not certain, there were two years of famine, and a terrible time indeed it was. The spring and summer were scorching hot, and autumn and winter brought typhoons and floods, and as one bad season followed another the five cereals could not ripen.

Spring plowing was in vain, and the summer sowing was but labor lost. Neither did you kmao the joyous clamor of the hkjoki and the laying up of stores in autumn kaamo winter. Some deserted their land and went to other provinces, and others left their houses and dwelt in the hills. Then all sorts of prayers were said and special services recited, but things grew no better. And since hojoi everything the people of the capital had to depend on the country around it, when no farmers came in with food how could they continue their usual existence?


Though householders brought out their goods into the street and besought people to buy, like beggars with no sense of shame, yet no one would even look at them, and if there should be any ready to barter they held money cheap enough, but could hardly be brought to part with grain. Beggars filled the streets and their clamor was deafening to the ears.

So the first year passed and it was difficult enough hojjoki live, but when we looked for some improvement during the next it was even worse, for a pestilence followed, and the prayers of the people were of no effect. As the days passed they felt like fish when the water dries up, and respectable citizens who ordinarily wore hats and shoes now went barefooted begging from house to house.

And while you looked in wonder at such a sight they would suddenly fall down and die in the road. And by the walls and in the highways you could see everywhere the bodies of those who had uojoki of starvation. And as there was none to take them away, a terrible stench filled the streets, and people went by with their eyes averted. The ordinary roads were bad enough, but in the slums by the river-bed there was not even room for carts and horses to pass.

As for the poor laborers and woodcutters and such like, when they could cut no more firewood and there was none to help them, they broke up their own cottages and took the pieces into the city to sell.

And what one man could carry was hardly enough to provide him with food for one day. And it was a shocking thing to see among these scraps of firewood fragments with red lacquer and gold and silver foil still sticking to them. And this because those who could get nothing else broke into the mountain temples and stole the images and utensils and broke them up for kindling. It must be a wretched and degenerate age when such chomie are done.

Another very sad thing was that those who had children who were very dear to them almost invariably died before them, because they denied themselves to give their sons and daughters what they needed. And so these children would always survive their parents. And there were babies who continued to feed at their mother’s breast, not knowing she was already dead. And the number that they counted within the city, in the space of four or five months, between the First and Ninth Avenues on the north and south and between Kyogoku and Shujaku on the east and west, was at least forty-two thousand three hundred.

And when there is added to this those who perished before and after this period, and also those in the River-bed and Shirakawa and Western City quarters, they must have been almost beyond count. And then there were all the other provinces of the Empire. But of that I know nothing. What I have seen with my own eyes was strange and terrible enough.

Then in the second year of the era Gen-ryaku [] there was a great earthquake. And this was no ordinary one. The hills crumbled down and filled the rivers, and the sea surged up and overwhelmed the land. The earth split asunder and water gushed out. The rocks broke off and rolled down into the valleys, while boats at sea staggered in the swell and horses on land could find no sure foothold.

What wonder that in the capital, of all the temples, monasteries, pagodas and mausoleums, there should not be one that remained undamaged. Some crumbled to pieces and some were thrown down, while the dust rose in clouds like comei around them, and the sound of the falling buildings was like thunder.

Those who were in them were crushed at once, while those who ran out did so to find the ground yawning before them. If one has no wings he cannot fly. For one terror following kmo another there is nothing equal to an earthquake.