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Essays in Idleness

Essays in Idleness: The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko by Yoshida Kenkō

Being a collection of random thoughts and reflections from 14th century Japan.

Observations that the carp is the only fish that can be properly carved in the emperor's presence.  The silliness of a dispute over whether the moon or the dew is more charming when everything has its place.  Reflections on the shortness of life and the unexpected arrival of death.  How the late-blooming plum and cherry trees are not so charming as the early ones -- how the plum blossom fragrance excels all others in bringing back memories.  That it is better for a couple if their union is opposed and they can only manage to struggle through to matrimony.  A soldier who was dismissed from imperial service for dismounting in order to hand an imperial message to the prime minister.  How cherry blossoms can be charming when they scatter or are still in bud as well as full bloom.

And a lot more.

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