Quotes by Yoshida Kenko

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Are we to look at cherry blossoms only in full bloom, the moon only when it is cloudless? To long for the moon while looking on the rain, to lower the blinds and be unaware of the passing of the spring - these are even more deeply moving. Branches about to blossom or gardens strewn with flowers are worthier of our admiration. more...

On a moonlit night, after a snowfall, or under cherry blossoms, it adds to our pleasure if, while chatting at our ease, we bring forth the wine cups. more...

Ambition never comes to an end. more...

Blossoms are scattered by the wind and the wind cares nothing but the blossoms of the heart no wind can touch. more...

It is a most wonderful comfort to sit alone beneath a lamp, book spread before you, and commune with someone from the past whom you have never met. more...

The true criminal must be defined as a man who commits a crime though he is as decently fed and clothed as others. more...

There is nothing finer than to be alone with nothing to distract you. more...

Blossoms are scattered by the wind and the wind cares nothing, but the blossoms of the heart no wind can touch. more...

You should never put the new antlers of a deer to your nose and smell them. They have little insects that crawl into the nose and devour the brain. more...

Leave undone whatever you hesitate to do. more...

The hour of death waits for no order. Death does not even come from the front. It is ever pressing on from behind. All men know of death, but they do not expect it of a sudden, and it comes upon them unawares. So, though the dry flats extend far out, soon the tide comes and floods the beach. more...

The pleasantest of all diversions is to sit alone under the lamp, a book spread out before you, and to make friends with people of a distant past you have never known. more...

In everything, no matter what it may be, uniformity is undesirable. Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting, and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth more...

The most precious thing in life is its uncertainty more...

If life were eternal, all interest and anticipation would vanish. It is uncertainty which lends it fascination. more...

If we lived forever, if the dews of Adashino never vanished, if the crematory smoke on Toribeyama never faded, men would hardly feel the pity of things. The beauty of life is in its impermanence. Man lives the longest of all living things... and even one year lived peacefully seems very long. Yet for such as love the world, a thousand years would fade like the dream of one night. more...

Though a man excels in everything, unless he has been a lover his life is lonely, and he may be likened to a jewelled cup which can contain no wine. more...

To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations - such is a pleasure beyond compare. more...

One should write not unskillfully in the running hand, be able to sing in a pleasing voice and keep good time to music; and, lastly, a man should not refuse a little wine when it is pressed upon him. more...

Life's most precious gift is uncertainty. more...

A certain recluse, I know not who, once said that no bonds attached him to this life, and the only thing he would regret leaving was the sky. more...

If you imagine that once you have accomplished your ambitions you will have time to turn to the Way, you will discover that your ambitions never come to an end. more...

In everything, no matter what it may be, uniformity is undesirable. Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting, and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth. Someone once told me, "Even when building the imperial palace, they always leave one place unfinished." In both Buddhist and Confucian writings of the philosophers of former times, there are also many missing chapters. more...

... For such as truly love the world, a thousand years would fade like the dream of one night. more...

If you must take care that your opinions do not differ in the least from those of the person with whom you are talking, you might just as well be alone. more...

Even members of the nobility, let alone persons of no consequence, would do well not to have children. more...

If life were eternal all interest and anticipation would vanish. It is uncertainty which lends its fascination. more...

To while away the idle hours, seated the livelong day before the inkslab, by jotting down without order or purpose whatever trifling thoughts pass through my mind, truely this is a queer and crazy thing to do! more...

One should write not unskillfully in the running hand, be able to sing in a pleasing voice and keep good time to music; and lastly, a man should not refuse a little wine when it is pressed upon him. more...

The truth is at the beginning of anything and its end are alike touching. more...

What a strange, demented feeling it gives me when I realize I have spent whole days before this ink stone, with nothing better to do, jotting down at random whatever nonsensical thoughts have entered my head. more...

If man were never to fade away ... but lingered on forever in the world, how things would lose their power to move us. The most precious thing in life is its uncertainty. more...


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