Both of these works on life’s fleeting pleasures are by Buddhist monks from medieval Japan, but each represents a different worldview. InEssays in Idleness, his lively and sometimes ribald collection of anecdotes, advice, and observations, Kenko displays his fascination with earthly matters. In the short memoirHojoki, orThe Ten Foot Square Hut, however, Chomei recounts his decision to withdraw from worldly affairs and live as a hermit.
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