Early life[ edit ] Born with the name Kamo no Nagaakira, he was the second son of Kamo no Nagatsugu, sho-negi or superintendent, of the Lower Kamo Shimogamo shrine. He was also known by the title Kikudaifu. The exact year of his birth is unknown, but thought to be either or , with being the generally accepted date. At the time, the Upper and Lower Kamo Shrines owned large amounts of property around the Kamo River, northeast of the Heian capital Kyoto , holding great power and prestige among the aristocracy. The Kamo Festival Aoi Matsuri , occurring in the middle of the fourth month, was considered the most important Shinto event and is vividly depicted in literature of the time, most notably in Chapter Nine of The Tale of Genji.
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Earth does not so often bring catastrophe.. Earth is forever metamorphosing into the permanence of deathly grave a respite for the victims of impermanence. And, when fearsome earthquakes engulf the vanities of the world, nature becomes the supreme equalizer of mankind. Sinful times! That I should witness such a dreadful thing! Kamo no Chomei was the second son of a Shinto priest in Kyoto.
In , Chomei adhered to the teachings of Buddhism and lived a life of a recluse monk in the foothills of Mount Hino. On the road to achieving tranquillity, Chomei expresses:- Fish do not hate the water.
But then, none can know the happiness of the fish unless he is one A quiet life is much the same. How would anyone know it without living it? The four metamorphosing seasons equating the four defining phases of human life, ceaselessly flow like the river reverberating vanity of time concealed beneath the watery whims of impermanence.
From the tenderness of glorious spring to the culmination of frosty snow, the poetic immortality of Kamo-no —Chomei defies the reluctant nature meditating through ethereal silence the transitory passage of man and the phenomenon of nature. The flowing river.
Kamo no Chōmei
The bubbles that float in the pools, now vanishing, now forming, are not of long duration. So in the world are man and his dwellings. On the twenty-ninth day of the fourth moon of , a great whirlwind sprang up in the northeast of the capital and violently raged as far south as the sixth ward. Every house, great or small, was destroyed within the area engulfed by the wind.
Hojoki: Visions of a Torn World
Synopsis[ edit ] Chomei introduces the essay with analogies emphasizing the impermanence of nature, setting a pessimistic view for the rest of this work. Those who were caught near it choked and collapsed. Others instantly died. Chomei goes on to recount a great whirlwind that raged on from Nakanomikado and Kyogoku to Rokujo during the Fourth Month of Jisho 4.