A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees — Kenkō

I appreciate little books of classical wisdom. I chose this one purely because of the title which I thought was beautiful in its own right.

It is a wonderful short book about the world through the eyes of Kenkō. Highly recommend.

If you constantly regret life’s passing, even a thousand long years will seem but the dream of a night.

Homes are often not treated with the same respect that the Japanese assign to them. I love their world view in this area:

Though a home is of course merely a transient habitation, a place that is set up in beautiful taste to suit its owner is a delightful thing. Even the moonlight is so much the more moving when it shines into a house where a refined person dwells in tranquil elegance. There is nothing fashionable or showy about the place, it is true, yet the grove of trees is redolent of age, the plants in the carefully untended garden carry a hint of delicate feelings, while the veranda and open-weave fence are tastefully done, and inside the house the casually disposed things have a tranquil, old-fashioned air. It is all most refined.

I wonder how many people identify with this. It’s an interesting idea:

What happiness to sit in intimate conversation with someone of like mind, warmed by candid discussion of the amusing and fleeting ways of this world … but such a friend is hard to find, and instead you sit there doing your best to fit in with whatever the other is saying, feeling deeply alone.

Oh my gosh. Nice one Kenkō:

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.

He also seemed really fond of moon viewings which I think is a nice tradition:

It is natural human feeling to yearn over the falling blossoms and the setting moon – yet some, it seems, are so insensitive that they will declare that since this branch and that have already shed their flowers, there is nothing worth seeing any longer.