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Hojo-Ki
     Kadokawa Gakugei
Title : Hojo-Ki
Author : Kamo no Chomei
Publisher : Kadokawa Gakugei
Country : Japan
Language : Japanese
ISBN/ISSN : 978-4043574193
Published year : 2007
Number of pages : 189
Book subject : literature/critical essays
Purchased URL : http://www.kadokawa.co.jp/bunko/bk_detail.php?pcd=200703000548
Name of Presenter:
 
Presentation Data English:
A 12 century literature of impermanence of things arisen amidst turmoil of natural disasters and wars

'Hojo-ki' was written during the era of the Genpei War (12th century), the restless times in Japan when the social hierarchy shifted from the imperials to the warriors amidst of many natural and man-made disasters. The author, Kamo no Chomei, was born as a son of a Shinto-priest, to be the successor of Shimogamo shrine in Kyoto famous for the Aoi Festival. But after all, without assuming the position, he retired into a small hermitage in the mountainside village and wrote on this ever-changing world and the way of getting along in life, looking on the city in chaos.

It is also a collection of thought-provoking essays for us at the present time that advocates slower-paced lifestyle.

 
Author's Profile:
Born in or around 1155 as a son of a priest of Shimogamo shrine, Kamo no Chomei (aka. Kamo no Nagaakira) had many artistic talents, playing the Biwa guitar and writing Waka poems well, and was promoted by Emperor Gotoba as Wakadokoro Yoryudo (personnel at Japanese poetry house back then). He was nominated for a Shinto-priest in 1204 which never materialized due to objections from his own clan. As a result, he renounced the world. After retiring into Ohara, outside of Kyoto, he lived in a hermitage in Hino at a place he called Hojo (literally means three square meters). His poems were among famous collections; one in Senzai Waka-shu and ten in Shin Kokin Waka-shu. He died in 1216, allegedly 62 years old. He was commonly known to the society as Kiku-tayu. His posthumous Buddhist name is Ren-In. Among his works are 'Hojo-ki', 'Hosshin-shu', and 'Mumyo-sho'.

Most famous passage from his writings: “The river runs ever and ever the stream yet the water is never the same.” ('Hojo-ki')