Learn the life from Tsurezuregusa by Kenko Yoshida

November 23, 2014 Juju Kurihara books, Culture, History, Literature Tags: 0 Comments

tsurezuregusa 2"Tsurezure naru mama ni,

Hikurashi suzuri ni mukaite,

Kokoro ni utsuriyuku yoshinashikoto wo,

Sokohakatonaku kakitsukureba,




This is the beginning of Tsurezuregusa (徒然草), one of the three most important essays in the Japanese history written by Kenko Yoshida (吉田兼好), also known as Kenko-Hoshi (兼好法師). 

It says, 


"Since I have nothing to do and have lots of time in my hands,

all day long I sit in front of the suzuri (ink stone),

those silly things that come up and disappear in my mind,

I just write them down randomly,


I feel like I´m losing my mind." 


kenko hoshi


This is Kenko YoshidaTsurezuregusa was written between 1330 and 1331 and is a collection of 243 essays. As he said, he wrote this because he had too much time to spare. Since the Internet wasn´t invented in the 14th Century, Yoshida had to write his random thoughts on the paper using a brush and the ink. But this book can be understood as one of the oldest blog or Twitter in Japan. If you think this way, the classic books become more familiar. 



fumiko ogino



As Fumiko Ogino (荻野文子) wrote "Tsurezuregusa than any life coach theory", this old man, Kenko Yoshida´s words are very wise and it applies to many situations in your life. 


Today, I want to pick one of 243 chapters. The chapter 150 is perfect for artists or anyone who has just picked up learning an art and is feeling struggled for your slow progress. After reading Tsurezuregusa, you will feel great or a little better at least. 













Chapter 150

Those who are starting to learn an art tend to say, "I don´t want anyone to know at the beginning, I will practice secretly until I get better then I won´t be so embarrassed." But those people will never achieve even one thing.  

Only those who practice in the advanced people before knowing any techniques and don´t give up even though they get told off or laughed by others will success. Even without a natural talent, if the person is consistent and practices by following the masters, after the time, he will achieve a better technique than those who have a natural talent, and he will become a person of virtue and people will come to him, at the end he will get as much fame as those who have a natural talent.

Even a great master of art, he was said he had no talent or had many embarrassing experiences. However that master kept following the way of practicing and respected it without ignoring it, eventually he became a master and a teacher of many learners. This applies to any practice.    



tsurezuregusa 1

I myself started a ceramic course one year and a half ago and a year ago, I started learning a wheel. After one year, I still can´t make a shape I want. Quite often I can´t even centre the clay and my cup becomes one side higher than other side. 

Once I told a friend about the course and she was very interested in and wanted to do it too. But after a while I´d noticed she was mistaking something and I´d realised she thought it was a one-month workshop. When I told her that it took me three months to centre the clay by myself. She was very disappointed and said that no one would have so much time to do things that have such a slow progress. 

I know she is a very energetic person and wants to do everything now now now but for me it sounded a little pity that she wouldn´t give herself a chance to enjoy the process of growing herself. Buy hey, each one has a different orientation and rhysm.

Have you just joined a sculpture class or a Yoga course and feel struggled? Keep your head down and follow Kenko Yoshida´s Tsurezuregusa. At the end we will realise that ancient wise man was right. 


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