Yoshida Kenkō Quotes

Who is Yoshida Kenkō?

Yoshida Kenkō was a Japanese Buddhist monk, hermit and author in the 14th century. Kenkō's most famous work is 'Tsurezuregusa' better known as 'Essays in Idleness'. This is one of the most studied works of medieval Japanese literature.

Born January 01, 1283
Died January 01, 1350

Books by Yoshida Kenkō


Best 18 Quotes by Yoshida Kenkō

“A certain recluse, I know not who, once said that no bonds attached him to this life, and the only thing he would regret leaving was the sky.”

“I recall the months and years I spent as the intimate of someone whose affections have now faded like cherry blossoms scattering even before a wind blew.”

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees Quotes

“All things of this phenomenal world are mere illusion. They are worth neither discussing nor desiring.”

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees

“If you follow the ways of the world, your heart will be drawn to its sensual defilements and easily led astray; if you go among people, your words will be guided by others' responses rather than come from the heart.”

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees

“It harms a man more to wound his heart than to hurt his body.”

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees

“It is the ephemeral nature of things that makes them wonderful.”

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees

“Only a boring man will always want things to match; real quality lies in irregularity – another excellent remark.”

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees

“The longer you live, the greater your share of shame.”

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees

“There is a deep contradiction in failing to enjoy life and yet fearing death when faced with it.”

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees

“There is nothing finer than to be alone with nothing to distract you.”

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees

“Those who feel the impulse to pursue the path of enlightenment should immediately take the step, and not defer it while they attend to all the other things on their mind.”

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees

“Why should it be so difficult to carry something out right now when you think of it, to seize the instant?”

A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees

Essays in Idleness Quotes

“If man were never to fade away but lingered on forever in the world, how things would lose their power to move us. The most precious thing in life is its uncertainty.”

Essays in Idleness

“If you must take care that your opinions do not differ in the least from those of the person with whom you are talking, you might just as well be alone.”

Essays in Idleness

Products by Yoshida Kenkō

“In everything, no matter what it may be, uniformity is undesirable. Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting, and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth. Someone once told me even when building the imperial palace, they always leave one place unfinished. In both Buddhist and Confucian writings of the philosophers of former times, there are also many missing chapters.”

Essays in Idleness

“It is a great error to be superior to others. It is such pride as this that makes a man appear a fool, makes him abused by others, and invites disaster. A man who is truly versed in any art will of his own accord be clearly aware of his own deficiency; and therefore, his ambition being never satisfied, he ends by never being proud.”

Essays in Idleness

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“You may control a mad elephant;
You may shut the mouth of the bear and the tiger;
Ride the lion and play with the cobra;
By alchemy you may learn your livelihood;
You may wander through the universe incognito;
Make vassals of the gods; be ever youthful;
You may walk in water and live in fire;
But control of the mind is better and more difficult.”

Autobiography of a Yogi


More quotes by Paramahansa Yogananda

“To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations – such is pleasure beyond compare.”

Essays in Idleness

“What a strange demented feeling it gives me when I realize that I have spent whole days before this inkstone, with nothing better to do, jotting down at random whatever nonsensical thoughts have entered my head.”

Essays in Idleness