Excerpts from Essays in Idleness
Were we to live on forever — were the dews of Adashino never to
vanish, the smoke on Toribeyama never to fade away — then indeed
would men not feel the pity of things. ... Truly the beauty of life is
its uncertainty. ...
Are we to look at flowers in full bloom, at the moon when it is clear?
Nay, to look out on the rain and long for the moon, to draw the blinds
and not be aware of the passing of spring — these arouse even deeper
feelings. There is much to be seen in young boughs about to flower, in
gardens strewn with withered blossoms.
There is a charm about a neat and proper dwelling house, although this
world, 'tis true, is but a temporary abode. ... The man is to be envied
who lives in a house, not of the modern, garish kind, but set among venerable
trees, with a garden where plants grow wild and yet seem to have been
disposed with care. ...
... A room with sliding doors is lighter than one with doors on hinges.
... As for construction, people agree in admiring a place with plenty
of spare room, as being pleasing to the eye and at the same time useful
for all sorts of purposes.
Excerpts from Donald Keene, Anthology of Japanese
Literature from the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century (New
York: Grove Press, 1955), 231-232, 239.