HOME > LITERATURE > Historical Japanese Works > Essays in Idleness the Tsurezuregusa of Kenko

Essays in Idleness

the Tsurezuregusa of Kenko

Essays in Idleness

Author Kenko Yoshida
Translator Donald Keene
Price JPY 1,760
ISBN 978-4-8053-0631-4
Format 130×203mm 214pages paperback
Availability in stock
  • click to purchase


Between 1330 and 1332 the Buddhist priest Kenko, having, as he put it, "nothing better to do," turned to his inkstone and brushes. He jotted sown his thoughts, observations, and opinions; anecdotes that he found interesting, amusing, or instructive; accounts of customs and ceremonies--everything that seemed to him worthy of preservation.
The little essays--none of them more than a few pages in length, and some consisting of but two or three sentences--give us the self-portrait of a most engaging gentleman. He is consistent in his statement of the peculiarly Japanese aesthetic principle: beauty is intrinsically bound to its perishability. The imperfect, the irregular, the understated, beginnings and endings--these have a charm of their own which surpasses that of completion.

* cover price / excluding tax