Essays in Idleness by Yoshida Kenko

Yoshida Kenko, the author of Essays in Idleness, incorporated his Japanese culture and Buddhist beliefs in his work. He highlighted and accepted the perishability and uncertainty of life. However, Kenko’s views vary from the usual Western outlook and my own perspective.

Kenko understood the unpredictability of human life and valued it. He believed that if human beings might live permanently, they would not feel the emotions they feel when they look at beauty in nature. Because he understood that there is obscurity in life, Kenko appreciated minor things that the majority of people would overlook.

In reflection twenty-one, he described how he found pleasure in looking at a stream. Kenko knew the unpredictability of life, and this appears in reflection twenty-nine. He described how difficult it was for him to suppress his nostalgia for things in his past. Explaining how he felt when he went through valuables from the past made it seem manifest that he had understanding about the instability of life.

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I agree with Kenko’s ideas of perishability. If human beings had a never-ceasing life, they would dislike the world around them as much as they do today. I appreciate the concept of the perishability of life. It makes desire and emotions more powerful since individuals know that they will not have the ability to take pleasure in things permanently. On the other hand, I disagree entirely with his beliefs on the idea of uncertainty of life. Kenko believed that the most precious thing in life is its uncertainty.

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My viewpoint is that it is among the worst aspects of life due to the fact that I never ever understand what is going to happen. This causes a sense of vulnerability due to the fact that of the absence of knowledge about the future. Instead of the concept of life’s uncertainty sustaining my need to reconcile it, it makes me feel afraid and distressed about the situations to come.

The Western interpretation of this philosophy of life is spending the little time they have to enjoy the finest life possible. The idea that life doesn’t last forever motivates westerners to make the best of it. Most people want to strive for a luxurious lifestyle to fulfill their existence, which differs from Kenko’s view of simplicity. However, some people use the uncertainty of life as an excuse for making foolish choices. They justify this behavior with the knowledge that life doesn’t last forever. Yoshida Kenko’s work, Essays in Idleness, embodies his thoughts of the perishability and uncertainty of life. However, my views disagree with his in some ways. Westerners comprehend his beliefs differently as well, and some people put a negative aspect to his perspective.

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Essays in Idleness by Yoshida Kenko. (2016, Oct 07). Retrieved from

Essays in Idleness by Yoshida Kenko

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